Mon, July 15

Youth is served in Camp Verde<br><i>Defending region champions feature lots of newcomers</i>

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

Jesse Taylor (right) is one of only two seniors on Camp Verde's varsity boys soccer roster this fall.

Such is life for the Cowboy coach these days. After graduating nine key players from a region championship and state semifinalist squad, Miller has to learn a whole new set of faces.

“We’re going to be an extremely young team,” the coach said. “We’re not going to try and rebuild. We’re going to try and reload.

“But right now, we’re just trying to teach the basics and get everybody playing together.”

Fortunately, graduation didn’t leave the Camp Verde stables completely barren. All-region performer Jesse Taylor, one of the league’s top goal scorers a year ago, is back. So, too, are talented midfielders Seth Scott and Seth McCabe.

Taylor is one of two seniors on the varsity roster. Scott is a junior who will move from outside mid to center mid. McCabe is a sophomore who also will play center midfield.

The only other returnee with ample varsity experience is junior Sam Miller. He’ll move to goalkeeper this season, a spot occupied by his older brother, Ben, a year ago. Ben earned region MVP honors in 2001 and was an all-state pick. He’s now helping his younger brother learn the position.

New sweeper Conor Borchers also has some big shoes to fill. He’s taking over for Josh Ortega, who shared region co-MVP honors with Ben Miller. Borchers, a junior, played some at the varsity level in ’01, but this will be his first full varsity season.

Sophomores Zack Davis, Andy Brooks, Trevor Hammond and junior Marvin Marquez all made varsity by the state playoffs last year. They will be called on most likely in a starting role this go-around.

Davis and Marquez will play outside defense. Hammond will take over at stopper. Brooks will be an outside midfielder and a backup goalkeeper. The Cowboys’ only other senior, Kyle Vandermale, will play at the other outside midfield spot.

“We’ve had a good chance to see them throughout the summer,” coach Miller said. “The first two and a half weeks (of preseason practice), we’ve gotten a good idea where they are going to be.”

Freshman Ernesto Sierras will play up front with Taylor. Sophomores Austin Watts and Fermin Valdez and freshman Miguel Diarte round out the varsity roster.