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Trinity Christian soccer confident in having another successful season with solid team

There’s a quiet air of confidence coming from the top of the hill in Morgantown where Trinity Christian School sits.

That confidence is fueled by the Warrior’s boys’ soccer team that returns nine players and seven starters from a team that went 11-6 last season and won the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference tournament.

“I think we had several kids that got a very good experience last year,” second-year coach Dan Lohmann said. “You can tell they spent time in the offseason to better their game. During the three weeks, they had a much better idea of what we wanted to accomplish.”

The top two returning players for the Warriors are junior goalkeeper Ben Lohmann, the coach’s son, and senior midfielder/defender Kyle Knight. Both were first-team all-region, first-team OVAC and honorable mention all-state selections.

Now, both Ben Lohmann and Knight will be counted on to solidify a defense that is starting from scratch this season.

“We are replacing our entire back line this year,” coach Lohmann said. “We are likely moving Kyle from center midfield to center back. He has a calming presence for us back there and we like to build our attack out of the back and play the ball forward first whenever possible.”

The Warriors also return midfielders Carter Hartsock, a junior, along with sophomores Brock Shuba and Mason Rodeheaver. Returning up front are juniors Carmelo Kniska and Charles Steptoe.

“We are trying to work more on possessing the ball at a higher rate this year,” coach Lohmann said.

Trinity, which does not have a girls’ team, also has two females on the 17-member team as sophomore Jessica Kinder is back while junior Cora Friend is new to the team.

Coach Lohman did say he is going to have to rely on four newcomers to the team for the starting 11.

Freshman Jakub Galik is going to play somewhere in the midfield and coach Lohmann said he likes Galik’s high soccer IQ. Parker Hopkins and Marcos Kniska, both freshmen, are slated to start on defense. For Marcos, this is the first time he has ever played soccer.

The final starter is senior Will Hancox who came out for the team for the first time this season and he will also play in the midfield.

“Will is picking things up quickly,” coach Lohmann said. “He’s a good athlete and wants to get better. He’s staying after practices to work on specific things, and he asks all the right questions.”

Senior Danny Gilliand and freshman Brayden Clampffer will also see time off the bench along with other players who are vying for minutes.

“We feel like each of these players can contribute in some way,” coach Lohmann said. “Even if it’s just for five or seven minutes. We ask a lot out of our outside midfields, and we are going to play that position by committee.”

The Warriors opened the season on Aug. 18 with a 6-2 victory over Steubenville Catholic and next play at Magnolia on Aug. 20 before traveling to Linsly on Aug. 23. Trinity is also scheduled to play Preston, Fairmont Senior, and Morgantown High this season.

“I think this team knows soccer better than we did last year,” Ben Lohmann said. “Our soccer IQ has really increased, and I think we have a lot of confidence going into this season. If we play it right, I think we can be better than we were last year. I think we know what we are getting into this year.”


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