VINCENT - Warren's boys' soccer team has been senior-oriented and very successful on the pitch ever since Andrew Johnson has been at the helm.
During the last two seasons, the Warriors have posted a combined 30-5-7 overall record, two district championships, two sectional titles, and two Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) crowns. Last fall on Halloween night, the royal blue and white booters finished 14-3-4 after dropping a 3-0 decision to Bexley in a regional semifinal at Logan High's Chieftain Stadium.
Perhaps ironically, the year before in the same Sweet 16 round at the same venue, the Warriors were eliminated by Columbus St. Francis DeSales by the identical score.
Warren’s Alex Miller dribbles the soccer ball during district final action at Lucasville Valley last fall. Miller is one of two seniors on the 2013 Warrior team.
Those pesky central Ohio boys' soccer schools are always tough.
Anyways, this upcoming season will be different personnel-wise for the Warren Warriors.
"I've lost 22 seniors in the last two seasons," said Johnson, who played his prep soccer for the Don Fosselman-coached Parkersburg Big Reds and collegiately at Bluffton University in northwest Ohio.
Add junior Sam Goodman to that count as he's elected to run just cross country and not play soccer this season.
Warren's grads from the 2012 squad were two-time SEOAL Player of the Year and all-stater Nick Koch (11 goals), leading scorer Eli Duff (17 goals), all-league honorees Evan Yabs and Ty Kroner, starting keeper Cody Stanley, Greyson Cantley, Nick Robinson, Adam Garlow, Sean Lofty, and Zach West.
Of that group, Koch will be continuing his education and playing soccer at Muskingum University.
This fall's team will be featuring just two seniors - center midfielder Alex Miller and defender Wyatt Lynch.
"We have a big junior class," Johnson said. "And, we also have five starters back."
Along with Miller and Lynch, defender Aaron Mazurkiewicz, defender Seth Hall, and outside midfielder Ben Koch also got significant playing time on the pitch in 2012.
Right now, there's a lot of starting positions up for grabs.
With Stanley receiving his high school diploma, Warren needs a goalkeeper, and the two primary candidates are juniors' Tyler Schewendeman and Wade Lynch. According to Johnson, until one of the keepers asserts himself, he might even go with one in the first half and the other in the second half. That's always an option.
"Overall, I'll be moving players around," Johnson said. "It's going to be interesting."
With the addition of Athens and Alexander to the SEOAL (boys soccer), Johnson looks for the league to be very competitive. Chillicothe, incidentally, is no longer in the conference (boys soccer), but Warren is still slated to play the Cavaliers one time in a non-conference tilt.
Warren is also scheduled to play Marietta High twice, on the road Aug. 22 and at home Oct. 8. Before the Warriors play the Tigers this month, though, they have two road matches, at Rosecrans in Zanesville and at Hillsboro.
"I believe Marietta will be the team to beat in our section," Johnson said. "They have practically everybody back.
"If our guys can play together, though, and there's a team chemistry, like we've had the past couple of years, we'll be competitive."