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Summit High soccer shoots for Sweet 16

Janice Kurbjun
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Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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Strong in numbers and experience, soccer team’s hopes are high for season

By Janice Kurbjun

jkurbjun@summitdaily.com

Comprised mostly of upperclassmen, the Summit High School boys’ varsity soccer team plans to hit the pitch in full force this year.

Their goal?

Make it to the second round of the state playoffs. Last year, the team played in the first round, but was quickly shoved out of the running through the seeding: They were ranked 25th, and played the No. 1 team in the state.

The returning squad is strong, said head coach Tommy Gogolen, who moved up another rung on the coaching ladder this year by taking the head coach slot. He was previously the junior varsity coach, then the varsity assistant coach – and remains the girls’ varsity soccer coach in spring.

A handful of players graduated last year, but this year’s team more than makes up for the loss, Gogolen said.

“It’s not a rebuilding year,” he said, adding that he’s hopeful for the future of SHS soccer, as the junior varsity team’s underclassmen are showing promise. The team has two minor injuries to overcome before the start of the season – unsteady ankles for both Cesar Serrano and Gabe Slottow – but both players are confident they’ll be rehabbed in time for Thursday’s season opener against Colorado Academy.

Much is the same, but one key factor plays into most of Summit’s sports this year – a new league.

Previously, Summit played in the Jefferson County League with large 4A schools out of Denver. This year, most sports are switching to the Western Slope League, which could level the playing field by pitting smaller schools with similar weather conditions against each other.

“It’s nice to play teams in the mountain region,” Gogolen said. “That said, there are going to be tough opponents.”

Like Battle Mountain High School.

When asked, each of three seniors said flat out that Battle Mountain would be the toughest game to play – and likely, the most exciting game to watch. Gogolen added that Steamboat High School and Valor Christian in Denver always put up a good fight.

With players who have years of experience on the team comes leadership, the coach said. That’s not different than the past, but it’s key to success, he added.

Such as the duo of sweeper Alex Roque and stopper Connor Hebert, both seniors.

“They are both great defensive-minded players,” Gogolen said. “There should be great leadership back there.”

Heading up offense, Alex’s twin brother, Alan Roque is a player to watch in the forward position.

“I expect him to put a lot of goals away this year,” Gogolen said.

Alex Roque added that his brother has a good left foot – and he’s fast.

Alex Roque also sees strength at the goalie position, with junior Noah Glasco manning the net.

In the midfield, the coach highlighted senior Bryan Daniel and junior Max Ortiz. Alex Roque pointed to Cesar Serrano as a strong, fast player.

“A good group of us have been playing together since elementary school, so we have good chemistry,” Hebert said. “We’re looking really sharp. No position really stands out.”

“We have a good squad,” Gogolen said. “It’s whether these guys show up to training camp prepared and ready to work” that will determine the season’s trend.

It helps that many of them have practiced and competed in summer leagues to keep their skills honed. Junior Varsity coach Brian Schonberger has played with the Roques for six years in various leagues in Summit County.

Player hopes are high. Alex Roque wants “to win every game.”

Gogolen also seems to have a positive outlook.

“We have a good freshmen and sophomore core,” he added. “I think we’ll be deep this year. If there’s a team that can make it, it might be this team, if they work hard.”

SHS Soccer Roster

No. Pos. Name Year

0 Goalie Erick Gamboa 12

1 Goalie Noah Glasco 10

2 Goalie Simo Korpela 12

3 Forward Evan Feldman 12

4 Midfield George Kasch 10

5 Defense Leonel Rojo 11

6 Forward Alan Roque 12

7 Midfield Bryan Daniel 12

8 Midfield Max Ortiz 11

9 Forward Peter Grotemeyer 12

10 Defense Alex Roque 12

11 Defense Daniel McFadden 11

12 Midfield Kai George 11

13 Defense Erick Rivas 12

14 Forward Danny Arbuckle 12

16 Midfield Simo Korpela 12

17 Midfield Cesar Serrano 12

18 Defense Gabe Slottow 11

20 Defense Connor Hebert 12

21 Midfield Erick Gamboa 12

23 Midfield Sebastian Ramos 11

> Team Rival: Battle Mountain High School

> Home game not to be missed: 6 p.m., Oct. 8 – Battle Mountain at SHS

> Players to watch: Goalie Noah Glasco (1); Forward Alan Roque (6); Midfielders Bryan Daniel (7), Max Ortiz (8) and Cesar Serrano (17); Defenders Alex Roque (10) and Connor Hebert (20).

> 2011 record: 8-8

> Coach: Tommy Gogolen

> Years coaching: First year as head coach. Previously JV and assistant varsity coach, six years as girls’ head coach.


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