NH/Elkhart faces rebuilding season

by Craig Hoffman
Tri-County News

NEW HOLSTEIN – Looking back at 2016: Josue Valenzuela’s early goal held up and the New Holstein/Elkhart Lake- Glenbeulah Huskies beat Sturgeon Bay, 1-0, in what would determine the Eastern Wisconsin/ Packerland Conference champion.

Valenzuela was one of four Huskies to earn first team all conference, joining goalie Jordan Bahr, defender Jacob Starnitcky and midfielder Oren Kestell. Those first three were seniors. Senior forward Tyler Schultz was voted second team all-conference and senior de- fender Max Kossman and junior midfielder Noah Ruh were honorable mention.

Schultz had 23 goals, Valenzuela, 18 and Starnitcky, 14.

However, the season ended far too short of the team’s next goal – a trip to state. Wrightstown beat NH/EL-G in a penalty kick shoot-out for a Division 3 regional title.

The Huskies finished 9-0 in the conference and 18-3-2 overall.

SEASON PREVIEW

A look ahead at 2017 for the Huskies. It will be a major reconstruction job for head coach Steve Conrad who goes solo this year after co-coach Manuel Valenzuela stepped down after last season.

Kestell, a senior midfielder, and Ruh, a senior midfielder/ forward, headline the list of six returning lettermen. Ruh, an EL-G student, scored 16 goals last year. Up on the front line will be Weston Reedy and Justin Schultz (from EL-G) while Devin Reseburg and Evan Petrie return on the back line.

Some other prospects that had a little varsity experience a year ago are Dylen Ecker, William Kienbaum, Noah Koenigs, Yoshi Lira-Navarro, Kyle Lutzke, Carlos Martin Del Campo, Nick Reedy and Andres Waage (EL-G sophomore defender). Koenigs served as backup goalie to Bahr and may be the top prospect there.

“The new conference will be nice travel-wise,” said Conrad as the former EWC teams – Kiel, Sheboygan Falls and Manitowoc Roncalli/Two Rivers – join the Huskies in the Big East Conference.

“Oostburg is the traditional power and they look to be the strongest team [in the BEC],” Conrad said.

Oostburg won the BEC last year with a 14-0 record.

“Sheboygan Christian/Lutheran was top-ranked in the state most of last season in Division 4 but they lost a lot of seniors. Howards Grove is also rebuilding,” said the coach.

Falls is a team to watch along with the Huskies and a replenished Kiel team.

The other EL-G students on the varsity team are freshman defender/goalie Deegan Kossman, senior defender/midfelder Kyle Lutzke and senior midfielder Dante Miller.

The Huskies’ home matches are held at NH High School except for the Sept. 14 game versus Sheboygan Christian/ Lutheran which will be held at Elkhart Lake.

NH/EL-G BOYS VARSITY
REMAINING SOCCER SCHEDULE
Sept. 7 – Roncalli/TR, here
Sept. 9 – @ GB Notre Dame
Sept. 12 – Ozaukee, here
Sept. 14 – Sheb. Christ./Luth., @ EL
Sept. 16 – @ Kiel Invitational
Sept. 18 – @ Kewaunee
Sept. 19 – St. Law. Seminary, here
Sept. 21 – @ Oostburg
Sept. 26 – Cedar Grove, here
Sept. 28 – Howards Grove, here
Oct. 3 – @ Kiel
Oct. 5 – @ Sheboygan Falls
Oct. 10 – St. Mary Catholic, here
Oct. 12 – @ Little Chute


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