The 'darkhorse' Cavs hope to surprise with new talent

CLACKAMAS - Clackamas first-year head boys soccer coach Anthony Trejo is excited about the 2011 high school season.

He's got some new players and he says opponents may be in for a rude awakening, if they underestimate his Cavaliers.

'I'm glad Clackamas is the underdog [in the Three Rivers League],' Trejo said. 'Going in with few expectations, the only place for us to go is up. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people this year….

'We've got really good talent, and no team in the league knows about it.'

The Cavaliers finished fifth in the six-team TRL last fall, and they graduated 10 seniors off that team. They don't return a single player who earned all-league recognition a year ago.

Still, the Cavaliers are not without experience. They return seven players who saw at least some starting action last fall.

But what excites Trejo the most is the addition of three impact players who have never played high school soccer before - junior strikers Josue Pineda and Adan Trejo, and junior outside midfielder Jason Udland.

'I've got two strikers who are really dangerous players,' said Trejo. 'They are from Mexico. They've played soccer their entire lives. People are going to be surprised….

'They say the reason they never played high school soccer before is because no one asked them too. They're really good players.'

Trejo says he also likes what he's seen from Udland, who grew up playing club soccer with Eastside United, but is playing high school soccer for the first time - after two years competing in high school cross country.

Players with varsity experience returning to this year's high school varsity lineup include seniors Nathan Wade and Grant Alexander in the central midfield; sophomore Aaron Ahlstrom as an outside midfielder; seniors Josh Lohmolder and Tyler Martz and junior Max Jette on defense; and junior Alden Turner in-goal.

Senior center back Tyler Gustavson has moved up from the jayvee to join the starting lineup.

Coach Trejo says he likes what he saw in a Sept. 3 season opening jamboree, where the Cavaliers played Sherwood to a scoreless tie and dropped a 1-0 barnburner to Grant.

'Grant scored late against us when I was subbing guys in,' Trejo said. 'My starters played them even for the first 25 minutes.'

Trejo says he was even more impressed with how his charges played last Thursday, when they met Westview, a team favored to contend for the 2011 state title.

Clackamas led 2-1 twenty-seven minutes into the second half on two goals by Adan Trejo. Grant Alexander and Nathan Wade helped set up the goals with nifty passing.

'I've never been more proud of a loss,' coach Trejo said. 'Westview has a great team and they play with a lot of pace and skill. We matched them for 65 minutes before tired legs set in. It was good to see the boys play at such a high level….

'I'm excited about the season. We've got really good talent and no team in the league knows about it.'

Trejo, who was a jayvee coach at Clackamas, says he expects Lake Oswego, West Linn and Lakeridge to all field strong teams.

Lake Oswego went 6-1-3 and finished on top last year, and the Lakers have three TRL first-team all-league players returning in seniors Jack Halvorson, Ryan Favero and Andrew Jeffery.

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