Clackamas returns eight starters from last years team that made the Class 6A quarterfinals

by: JOHN DENNY - With eight starters back, Clackamas plans to make some noise in Class 6A boys soccer this fall. Pictured are returning starters (from left) Aiden Turner, Tyler Gustavson, Max Jette, Jason Udland, Ian Tarnovsky and Aaron Ahlstrom.Clackamas High School’s varsity boys soccer team is loaded with talent and experience, and the Cavaliers plan on making some school history this fall.

“I think the general consensus (on the team) is to win league and make it further in the playoffs than last year,” said Clackamas senior co-captain Max Jette.

No Clackamas boys soccer team has ever made a state final and the Cavaliers have only made the state semifinals in boys soccer twice (1992 and 2009).

Jette and his teammates have good reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. The Cavaliers return eight starters from last year’s team that lost to state finalist Grant in the quarterfinals, after finishing second to West Linn in the Three Rivers League. And the Cavaliers have added a couple of quality transfers who should help their prospects.

Returning starters include: senior forward Adan Trejo and junior forward Chris Bardoino, senior midfielder Jason Udland and juniors Ian Tarnovsky and Aaron Ahlstrom, senior defenders Tyler Gustavson and Jette, and goalkeeper Aiden Turner.

Trejo, a first-team all-league selection, was Clackamas’ leading scorer in 2011, scoring 18 of the Cavaliers 34 goals and making two assists.

Tarnovsky was a second-team all-league selection as a sophomore.

Among those new to the Cavalier starting lineup are senior midfielder Westley Coleman, and senior defenders Chico Guerra and Reid Holmes.

A transfer from Estacada, Coleman was a first-team all-league pick in the Tri-Valley Conference last fall. Guerra is a returning letterman; Holmes moves up from last year’s jayvee.

“We lost one captain in the midfield to graduation [first-team all-league midfielder Grant Alexander], but we’ve got a very strong midfielder to replace him [Westley Coleman],” said co-captain Tyler Gustavson. “We’re not going to lose much, if anything. Westley’s a very strong player.”

Others likely to see their share of playing time for the Cavaliers this season include: senior lettermen Griffin North (defense) and Mason Buechler (midfield/forward), junior Tyler Noble, and freshman striker Juan Rodriguez.

Noble is a transfer from Centennial; Rodriguez, who was in the Portland Timbers’ Youth Academy Olympic Development program, will add depth to the Cavalier front line.

“Tyler [Noble] adds depth and experience,” said Clackamas coach Anthony Trejo. “He can play anywhere.”

“I see us as one of the favorites [to win league],” said Tarnovsky. “It’ll probably be us or Canby. They have a lot of starters back and they were good last year.”

“Our expectations are a lot higher this year,” said coach Trejo. “We overachieved with a mediocre team last year....

“I feel right off the bat this year we’re going to be an extremely talented team. On paper, it looks like we should be challenging for the title. I told the kids what they actually accomplish on the pitch will be up to them.”

The Cavaliers got an idea of how they’ll stack up against the state’s best in last week’s season opener, defeating 2011 Class 6A state quarterfinalist Beaverton 2-1.

Tarnovsky and Udland scored for Clackamas, off of assists from Guerra and junior Justin Siddall.

“A strong win to start the season,” Trejo said. “The boys battled hard the entire match and pulled out the win in the last 15 minutes....

“Our outside midfield — Udland and Ahlstrom — did a great job, putting constant pressure on the Beaverton back line. The defensive unit did a fantastic job, limiting Beaverton to only five shots on-goal.”

The Cavaliers host 2011 state champion Westview this Thursday at Clackamas. League play begins next Tuesday, when the Cavaliers entertain Canby.

“The boys are amped to play Westview again,” coach Trejo said. “We battled Westview pretty tough in preseason last year and lost 4-2. The boys challenged me to schedule the best teams in preseason this year. To get the state champs of 2011, at home, we are excited to get that test again.”

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