Hulshoff's soccer Lions will be formidable yet again in 2012
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Strap on your seat belts Lockport boys varsity soccer fans, because this fall promises to be yet another exciting Niagara Frontier League season for head coach Jeff Hulshoff’s Lions.
Despite the loss of the some outstanding players to graduation, including Bubba Ralyea, Alex Secord, Jordan Senay, Connor Dry and Tyler Chapman, Hulshoff said he’s optimistic his team can defend it’s 2011 NFL title — the team’s fourth in Hulshoff’s seven-year tenure.
Lockport opens its league season at 4:30 p.m. today at Niagara-Wheatfield. Their home opener is a non-league contest at 5 p.m. Friday against Nichols at the 2012 Lockport Boys & Girls Soccer Tournament.
The Lions finished an impressive 15-2-1 overall a year ago and went as far as the Section VI Class AA semifinals, losing 1-0 to the eventual VI champion Lancaster.
With the return of the team’s top two goal scorers, senior co-captain Alex Reid and junior Joshua Beshaw, Hulshoff said expectations are even higher for his 25-man roster in 2012.
“Yes, we’ve got very high expectations,” Hulshoff said. “I like this group’s attitude and their intensity. They pay attention to details and like to listen.”
Reid, who possesses both lightning speed, great footwork and a lethal shot, led the blue and gold in scoring last season with 18 goals. Beshaw, who has complimented not only Reid well, but all his teammates on the varsity the past two seasons, had 13 tallies and multiple
assists in 2011. Joining them up top is another natural goal scorer in senior striker Mike Ford.
The Lions’ other three senior co-captains this year are Kurtis Maloney, Nick Sammarco and Jerry West. Maloney will anchor the defense, while West and Sammarco will start at midfield. All three are experienced, disciplined two-way players and good leaders.
Other top returning seniors include Dave Pollock, midfielder Sam Greco and Andy Reid, who missed last season because he was an exchange student in the Netherlands.
Lockport’s two keepers this year are senior Anthony Pellicano and junior Bailey Reid. Hulshoff said both have good hands and plenty of experience and will share duties in goal throughout the season.
Rounding out the LHS roster are seniors Yves Luginbuehl, Mike Bouchard, Quinn Colville, Matt Strassel, Derek Dunlap and Felix Heinzl; juniors Chris MacDonald, Sherman Hunter, Connor Evans, Dillon Olear, Nicholas Deuil, Nse Obot and Lukais Sciandra; and freshman Andrew Sakowski.
“Lew-Port and Grand Island should be among the better teams, but I expect us to be at the top again by the end of the season,” Hulshoff said.
Assisting Hulshoff this year will be“Judge” Bill Watson.