By Matt Turer – firstname.lastname@example.org
While it’s tough to put any hard expectations on a Hillcrest program that graduated 14 seniors last year and is continuously looking to find some footing on the football-and-basketball dominated northside, Denys Hansen does so anyway. But in a simple way.
“Work hard and have fun,” Hansen, Hillcrest’s head coach, said.
The Hornets have won just three games in the past four years, with two of those coming in 2016 (against Thomas Jefferson Independent and Lebanon). Their win over Lebanon was Hillcrest’s first conference win since 2012. Five or more wins this season would be the most this decade for the program.
Four of the 14 seniors who graduated last spring were all-conference selections, so a new crop will need to step in and up for Hillcrest on all levels this fall.
“The expectations for this year are it will be a definite building year with freshmen and sophomores making up the new players,” Hansen said. “Most of them have played some before in middle school, but jumping to being a varsity player is a big leap.”
Hillcrest returns key names in Dylan Roach, Dylan Sims, Braden Sheffield and Hunter Stillwell (GK). Hansen called all four key players who could step on the field and play for any varsity team.
Hansen also expects a fair number of sophomores to join the team this year, a process that is common for Hillcrest soccer as most freshman don’t immediately join the program.
“The new kids coming out are all athletes,” Hansen said. “The only problem is they aren’t the size of senior boys.”