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Clippers return to the pitch

CCA varsity boys soccer preview
Clear Creek Amana senior Christian Romero on the field. Romero is the lone senior among four returning starters. Romero works the midfield and scored four goals with a pair of assists last year. (file photos by Chris Umscheid)

TIFFIN– The Clear Creek Amana’s (CCA) varsity boys 2017 soccer season ended on a sunny Saturday in May as the Marion Indians won a Class 2A substate final, 1-0. The loss prevented the Creek Boys from competing in the state tournament, marking the final performance from seniors Jackson Pettinger, Nick Ritchie, Sam Evans, Pau Alberich, Oscar Espinoza, Trey Godbolt, Erick Martinez, Tony Zapata, Wyatt Sedlacek, Tyreke Williams, Seth Mass, Florian Wenland and Ian McDonald.
It’s the dawn of a new season. The shock has worn off and work begins in effort to get the Clippers to state, a feat not attained since 2014.
“Few starters remain,” head coach Tim Benson said. “But plenty of experience and success coming up from the JV level that went 12-1 last season.”
Benson’s hopes are bolstered by the biggest team ever in both number and size.
Christian Romero is the lone senior among four returning starters. Romero works the midfield and scored four goals with a pair of assists last year. Junior Mitch Evans is back as a striker with 11 goals and one assist while a pair of sophomores, Trevor King and J.J. Denny, round out the returning starters. Both are midfielders with seven goals and three assists for King, and one goal and two assists last year for Denny.
Four juniors and one senior are also back in Benson’s lineup. Jake Neuzil is the senior at midfield. Blake Malli will be in the goal for the Clippers. Spencer Karkosh will shift between midfield and defender, as will Nathan Cecak. Josh Nelson is a defender. Seniors Nick Wurth (defender), Cade Gallagher (defender), Berkeley Zhang (midfield), Ty Wright (midfield-defender) and David Jensen (defender) join Benson’s Boys as do juniors James Zierke (midfield-stryker), Andrew Rohret (midfield-defender) and Andrew Suther (midfield).
This is Coach Benson’s seventh year at the helm for the Clippers and he boasts a 85-40-2 record. The Creek Boys went 11-7 overall last year and 5-2 in the WaMaC conference. CCA alumnus Jake Sedlacek is back assisting Benson along with John Denny.
The 2018 season opens Thursday, March 29, with a Jamboree, at Mount Mercy University’s athletic complex, starting at 4 p.m. The first home match is set for Monday, April 2, at 5 p.m. against Beckman Catholic.