Huskies seek to capitalize on last year's run to the state tournament
2014 NORTH MARION BOYS SOCCER
Coach: Rafael Pelaez
Last season: 9-3-4 (5-2-3 Tri-Valley), lost 2-1 in first round of 4A playoffs
Key returners: Rodrigo Gonzalez, Aaron Caballero, Kris Huapeo, Oscar Ruiz, Dennis Zapata, Ismael Carrillo
Key Losses: Abner Carrillo
Outlook: A team that seems to be perpetually good-but-not-great, the North Marion boys soccer program has been to the 4A state tournament in five of the past six years.
The 2013 team was no exception, making it to the first round after finishing third in a very strong the Tri-Valley Conference.
The Huskies never could capture an elusive conference championship after four years in the Tri-Valley, but the team may have better luck when it moves to the Oregon West Conference this season.
North Marion placed eight players on the Tri-Valley all-conference team last year. While the Huskies will miss the defense of goalkeeper Shane Whitehead and the all-around ability of Abner Carrillo, the team nonetheless returns six all-league selections from 2013.
First Team juniors Rodrigo Gonzalez (defender) and Aaron Caballero (forward) give the Huskies a pair of talented athletes who can go toe-to-toe with any team in the Oregon West.
Midfielder Kris Huapeo is the lone returning seniors with all-conference experience and will be looked upon to distribute the ball upfield.
Last years honorable mentions Oscar Ruiz, Dennis Zapata and Ismael Carrillo all have at least two years of eligibility left, giving North Marion not only a talented team, but a young one as well.
Though the team will have to contend with perennial top-10 team Stayton, the Huskies are poised to make an immediate impact in their new home this fall.