Despite finishing last season with a winning 9-6 mark, the Sussex Tech boys soccer team uncharacteristically missed the state tournament.
Looking to avoid that same fate, the Ravens are off to a decent start, winning their first two games.
While Tech lost eight seniors, they return 13 players, which they hope will pay off in wins.
Daniel Alvarez, Jilver Angel-Velasquez, Tommy Cheung, Jose Cuaziti-Rojas, Randy Davenport, Robert Mitchell, Gavin Walter and Nicholas Whaley are back as seniors.
Along with the deep senior group, the Ravens boast a talented class of juniors, including returnees Isai Flores-Gabriel, Jodi Johnson, John Whealton and Patrick Short.
Joining that talented crew are newcomers, Cody Coleman, Trevor Daisey, John Farro, Christian Mendoza-Hernandez, Elver Mendoza-Velasquez and Jaasiel Nunez.
Tech has more underclassmen ready to contribute in sophomores Jonathan Rocco, Bryon Suarez-Garcia and Mason Washburn, along with freshman Brayden Booros.
So far, the team has shown tremendous depth with seniors, juniors and sophomores all filling up the stat sheet over Tech’s first two games.
After wins over Smyrna and Seaford, scoring 10 total goals, Rocco leads the team with three, including an overtime winner over Smyrna. Suarez-Garcia has two, as does Farro. Nunez, Daisey and Alvarez have also registered points.
The depth throughout the team also spreads to the team leaders, including Short, who missed all of last year with an ACL tear.
“Pat, a junior this year, has really taken on leadership responsibilities,” said Sussex Tech head coach Carlos Villa. “His desire to improve and help others reach their potential has been a real catalyst for this group. John Whealton and Trevor Daisey have also influenced this team in a positive way.”
With several big Henlopen North Division matchups coming against the likes of Caesar Rodney and Cape Henlopen, the Ravens hope to keep their winning ways going.
“[This team is] a positive, committed group of young men,” Villa said. “We have some inexperienced players who are starting to develop confidence in themselves.”
The Ravens are in action this week, traveling to take on Caesar Rodney Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at DE Turf Sports Complex.