New Beginnings for the 2016 Hawks
Hagerstown, Md. - The Hagerstown Community College men’s soccer program will usher in a new era in 2016. Brandon Rethemeyer takes over as head coach of the Hawks and will look to build on the program’s success.
“Having been so deeply involved with the program as an assistant for the last eight years, the program philosophy will remain the same,” said Rethemeyer. “We are constantly looking at the big picture and ensuring the program is moving in the right direction.”
With a new coaching staff and formation that will be implemented, it will be paramount that the players learn and adapt quickly.
“We are squarely focused on being fundamentally sound,” stated Rethemeyer. “We’ve had an excellent preseason so far and I’m very happy with the progress this team is making.”
While only five returners from last year’s squad are back, the player’s possess great leadership on and off the field. “With a new coach, new standards, new way to look at the game; the potential is always there for the players to resist change,” mentioned Rethemeyer. “I’m very fortunate that this will not be an issue with this group as we have three sophomore captains who believe in the direction we are going.”
As the program welcomes 13 freshman and two sophomore transfers, Rethemeyer is adamant about the need for the new players to make a quick transition to the college game. “Our new players will be heavily relied upon to start games right away so we need to limit the growing pains that will occur.”
Up front, the Hawks are looking to replace their top four goal scorers totaling 45 of 68 goals during the 2015 season. Freshmen, Azaria Honsou (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg), AlimzhanYakuzov (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown), and Josh Fitzwater (Martinsburg, W.Va./Martinsburg) will compete with sophomore transfer Chidiebere Chile-Udeagua (Salisbury, Md./James Bennett) to fill the striker positions.
The Hawks will look to possess the ball in the midfield with a talented group of playmakers. Sophomore transfer and Brazilian native, Leo Anjos (Recife, Brazil/Trinity Baptist) looks to head the center of the field while returners, Eric Madrid (Germantown, Md./Northwest) and Nathan Redmond (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) are other front runners for midfield spots. Madrid started all 19 games in the midfield last year, recording 10 points, while Redmond started 18 games and posted 18 points. Freshman Jaime Quansah (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) will be called upon early to provide his services to the midfield as well. Hagerstown also has plenty of depth looking to gain minutes, with freshmen Benny Brankoff (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne), Alex Kiss (Myersville, Md./Broadfording Academy), and Amadou Gaye (Clarksburg, Md./Clarksburg) all ready to step in when called upon.
In the back, sophomore captains, Trey Jackson (Montgomery, Al./IMG Academy) and Logan Speak (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) anchor the center back positions while freshmen Andrew Owens (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) and AsongweMcCho-Nji (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) are turning heads at the outside back positions. In 2016, Jackson started all 19 games and netted a goal in the NJCAA Division I Region XX semifinals, while Speak started 15 games and scored two goals. Freshmen CadenKeplinger (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport), Angel Osegueda (San Salvador, El Salvador/Kennedy), Ricardo Merino (Martinsburg, W.Va./Martinsburg), and Jayden Johnson (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) will all compete immediately for spots on the backline.
In net, HCC will call upon sophomore captain,Tim Horning (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) to lead the way as he stepped in late in the 2015 season to replace injured starter, Cristian Mejia. Horning played in eight games and recorded 41 saves and a shutout. Putting pressure on Horning will be freshmen Grant Adams (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) and Ian Hose (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring).
With new faces and much change on the horizon, the 2016 season will surely be an exciting one for the Hawks.
“Like any college soccer season, we will surely face adversity at one point or another,” quoted Rethemeyer. “How we respond when called upon will ultimately define us.”