Interboro returns nine starters that helped fuel a 15-win season and the Del Val title last season, so the natural consequence is that the bar is sky-high for Nick Dostellio’s squad, which harbors aspirations of not just qualifying but progressing in the District One Class AAA tournament.
All of the pertinent pieces are retained, from goalkeeper Brandon Weldon to 29-goal forward Diego Lopez to All-Delco midfield general Kyle Dutch. Complementing the core are starters Willy Lopez, who scored seven of the Bucs’ 76 goals, Josh Encarnacion, Nick Franz, Tyler Bollinger, Andrew Bucher, Kevin Oreskovich and Joey Pitts.
Among the newcomers expected to contribute are Josh Little, Brian Barker, Brendan Shanahan, Dom Scrivano, German Ramirez, Brendan Ciminara, Mike Munce and Brian Schwartz.
Penn Wood will use an 11-strong senior contingent to try to regain the upper hand in its perennial battle with Interboro for supremacy. Most of the group that led the Patriots to 13 wins last season is back, including 21-goal scorer John Mansaray and Collins Asmioah, who added nine. Frankie Knuckles will anchor the defense, while Amadu Barrie and Prince Bla will provide creativity and structure in midfield.
Among the noteworthy newcomers are Goodwill Agbaadem, Bockarie Ali and Abdul Bangura.
Academy Park coach Dan Schultz is hopeful that the returning group will be able to improve on last season’s five wins. The midfield will be a particular area of strength, led by senior captains Konta Marah and Mike Satimehin, junior Zachary Wilmer and sophomore Lansana Doumbouya.
Preston Johnson will lead the forward line, while junior Yohann Chawicky is one of the defensive fixtures.
Chichester may possess the pieces to surprise under first-year coach Paul Ammand. Jared Sullivan and Austin Wilson, who combined for 22 goals last season, return as tri-captains with John Coleman, while the junior class offers strength thanks to Tom Baney, Dylan Cordingly, Matt Dwyer and Tyler Profitt, the latter of which impressed in training camp.
Freshman Justin Willoughby could also contribute immediately.
Glen Mills has endured two straight winless seasons, but coach Pat McShea is encouraged by the progress in his new crop of players. Leading the way are a trio with soccer experience in Psalm J. Darrell, Mohammed Kamara and Andrew Dvorak.