For the Eagles soccer fans, this season might remind them of 2008 when a team of mostly freshman took over from a group of seniors that had delivered a district title.

But the 2017 version of that group – which went on to be very successful after struggling their freshmen year – is not quite that inexperienced.

Reece Gilmore, right, is the returning top scorer for the Eagles, left, Rajeesh Bennett.

Sure, some of the key players – scorer Reece Gilmore, midfielder Sam Bonderer – both sophomores – and junior midfielder Brett Brookshire are young, but gained plenty of experience on last year’s 17-7-2 team.

But as head coach Chris Miller would say, every team has its piano players and its piano movers. The Eagles have young piano players, but their piano movers are seniors and have the potential to compete at a high level.

“We will have some bumps, especially early in the season,” Miller said, “but this is the type of group that – if some kids figure some things out – could play at a high level.” Miller has always liked for his team to be built from the defense up and this year the Eagles will have to follow that prescription because it is where they have the most experience.

Seniors Ivan Bossert, Ethan Blackburn and Derek Gilmore all started last season and provide solid play for Southern Boone. Blackburn has a wealth of soccer knowledge and field perception. Bossert is athletic and was the “lockdown defender” at the end of last season. Ian Moore and Brandon Wagner will also play on the back line for the Eagles.

~ Find out more in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace