By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Rolla Bulldogs senior class will be looking to do something special in the 2019 season.
“This group of nine seniors has a chance to go through high school having won a district title all four seasons,” said head coach Mike Howard, the Class 3 District 9 Coach of the Year. “In 2018, we were 16-10-1 and won our third-consecutive district title, so we had a solid season.”
First, the Bulldogs will have the large shoes of all-staters Jarett Gabriele and Rhys Proffitt to fill.
• Jarett Gabriele, a forward, was a Class 3 All-State First-Team selection, as well as the All-Southwest/Central Region Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Class 3 District 9 Player of the Year and All-Ozark Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year. He is now playing at Webster University.
• Rhys Proffitt, a defender, was an honorable mention all-state pick, all-region selection, all-district co-defensive player of the year and an all-conference first-team pick. He is playing college ball at Westminster College.
The Class of 2020 will not only look to win a fourth-straight district title but will aim to get past the sectional round for the first time since its freshman year in 2016.
The senior class will be led by midfielder Gabe Stanislawski, a second-team all-state selection, an all-region, all-district and all-conference first-team pick. Stanislawski scored 12 goals and had 11 assists for the Bulldogs last season.
The Bulldogs, who went 7-2 in the Ozark Conference that included a 1-0 loss to Glendale and an overtime loss to Kickapoo, also return Mohammad Alamaldien, Evan Moore, Joel Schott, Zach Pendleton and Lane Mabe.
• Mohammad Alamaldien, a senior defender, had seven goals and 18 assists in 2018, was named all-district and all-conference second-team.
• Evan Moore, a senior forward, scored 17 goals with five assists
• Joel Schott, a senior, had four goals and three assists
• Zach Pendleton, a junior, had two goals and one assist, and was an honorable mention all-conference pick
• Lane Mabe, a junior, had three goals and one assist for Rolla.
“We have nine seniors returning with a solid junior class under them,” said Howard, whose record is 459-231-46 with the boys’ program for a combined boys and girls record of 876-380-74. “The key will be to get some consistent play in goal. Last year, Erique Cezar and Josiah Homan (both seniors) split time in goal, and we gave up some soft goals in key moments. That needs to get better.”
On defense, the Bulldogs return three key players but will need some help.
“We are looking for three players to step up from either the JV team or players who came off the bench and gave us minutes last year,” Howard said. “If we can find those three players, we have a chance to be a decent team.”
Rolla will compete in a jamboree at Waynesville with Washington, Waynesville and West Plains on Aug. 27 and then open the season by hosting Jefferson City Helias Catholic on Sept. 5.
“We have a good group that will be able to attack with some diversity and speed as long as we can stay healthy,” Howard said.