MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
The top-ranked Saints s ... »
A look at Gazette-area boys’ soccer players and teams to watch this spring.
Rasmus Schlutter, sr., forward, Iowa City High — He is the last member of this squad to have played on both state runner-up teams and had six goals and six assists for the Little Hawks last season.
Danny Peak, jr., midfielder, Linn-Mar — Had 11 goals and 13 assists for the Lions in 2015. Also netted three game-winning goals for his squad, which finished with a 16-5 record.
Luke Duball, sr., forward, Cedar Rapids Xavier — A first-team all-state and MVC player, he scored 15 goals and registered 20 assists in just 20 games. One of the most dominant players in the Metro area.
Ian Bootsmiller, sr., goalkeeper, Mount Vernon — Had a good season for the Mustangs last year, registering six shutouts, 188 saves and allowing only 28 goals. As a result, he was named first-team All-Wamac for his performance in the net.
Ryan Harapat, sr., midfielder, Mid-Prairie — A Class 1A first-team all-state player, Harapat will look to once again continue to move his squad in the right direction. Also scored two goals and had three assists on 12 shots on goal last season.
Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben, sr., forward, Cedar Rapids Washington — Had an excellent junior year and was named first-team all-metro, second-team all-MVC. He also played well once the Warriors got to the state tournament and was named to the all-tournament Team. He finished the year with 10 goals and four assists.
Patrick Michael, sr., forward, Benton Community — First-team all-Wamac. Had 27 goals and seven assists. An incredibly dangerous player, he took 113 shots last season and likely will take a good deal more this year.
Trey Godbolt, sr., defender, Clear Creek-Amana — First-team all-Wamac. Helped team to 13-5 record, a two-win improvement over 2015. Still managed to net four goals from his spot at defender.
Sam Tomek, sr., goalkeeper, Iowa City High — Class 3A second-team all-state. Allowed just seven goals in 21 games and registered 16 shutouts. An excellent defender in the net, Tomek was an important part of the Little Hawks getting to their second-ever state title game.
Alex Anderson, sr., midfielder, Iowa City West — A Drake commit, he had 10 goals and four assists while starting 12 games as a junior. Looks to make even more of an impact for West this season.
Iowa City High — While the Little Hawks did lose quite a bit off their roster, returning a goalie to the net is absolutely huge. There seems to be a good vibe around this team and why not? City High is coming off a runner-up finish last season and perhaps has the pieces to do it once again.
Linn-Mar — There are some new faces on Linn-Mar’s squad, but there is a reason it comes in at No. 7 in the preseason coaches poll. The Lions won the state crown in 2015 and made the tournament for the third time in a row last year. There’s no reason to think they won’t have a shot at doing that again.
Cedar Rapids Xavier — Led by Luke Duball, the Saints should be a fun team to watch again this year. Incredibly, Xavier has missed the state tournament exactly once since 2001 and it doesn’t seem like this is a year it will again. The Saints are a good team and very well could challenge for the 2A state title.
Iowa City Regina — After finishing fourth in Class 1A last year, the Regals will once again be in the conversation throughout most of the season. After winning five titles in six years from 2009-14, last year’s fourth-place finish is the closest the Regals have been to that.
Mount Vernon — Returning five starters, a number of the core pieces from last year’s 12-6 squad. There’s no reason to believe the Mustangs might not be able to take the leap this year.