Mount Airy varsity boys soccer team got in a final momentum boost and some extra playing time Saturday just before Monday’s season opener against Starmount.
Head Soccer Varsity Coach Will Hurley said the team will have seven senior returners and a lot of depth on the bench. Two freshmen were moved up to varsity — Eduardo Perez and Jose Gerardo Perez.
The coach said it was refreshing to see the number of freshmen come out this year.
Hurley said the team comes into the season with veteran experience. They advanced to the Northwest 1A Conference state championship playoff game last year and know what it is like to play under pressure.
“What makes this team special is their soccer IQ,” said Hurley.
Last year’s team finished with a 15-9-1 record.
Hurley said the conference realignment “should be interesting” and a better situation.
The Bears will compete in the Northwest conference against all 1A schools this year.
This year’s Northwest conference includes: Atkins, Bishop McGuinness, East Surry, Mount Airy, North Stokes, Walkertown and Winston-Salem Prep.
Hurley said the junior varsity and varsity Bears boys teams competed in Hickory on Saturday at a 25-team scrimmage. Both groups played well, he said.
The coach said he saw great passing and communication during varsity play. He also said the scrimmage helped solidify the players’ positions and boosted morale because of their good performance.
The Mount Airy Bears varsity boys soccer roster includes #1 Alan Ortiz, #2 Mitchell Brown, #3 Jeremy Chappell, #4 Neil Smith, #5 Felipe Chaves, #6 Carlos Carillo, #7 Christian Cabrera, #8 Eduardo Perez, #10 Sam Watson, #12 Mason Epperson, #13 Jose Jimenez, #14 Jordan Francis, #15 Hunter Clawson, #16 Dainiel Ballard, #19 Anthony Easter, #22 Angel Rodriguez, #23 John Hardy, #26 Jesus Cortes and #80 Scott Kunkel.