Lebanon Catholic boys soccer preview
Coach: Kerry Long, third season
Last year's record: 2-17
Key returners: Dylan Reb, Sr., MF/D; Nate Hatzfield, Jr., GK; Alex Witmer, Sr. D; Nick Hartman, Sr., D; Aiden Wharton-Mohammed, Sr., MF.
Outlook: For all the talk of fighting through adversity on the field, no program knows the word better than the Beavers. And 2016 will be no different, as they fight first to sustain the program and then try to achieve victory with only 10 players.
"It's survival and making the best out of a tough situation," Lebanon Catholic coach Kerry Long said. "We're going against high-caliber schools in our section alone, so we're just trying to survive, keep the program alive because once you lose it, it's difficult to get one back. They're hurting. Not all are soccer players. The new kids have only had a couple of days."
As of print, the Beavers were still in the process of recruiting a larger roster. The strength of the current lineup lies with the defense, where returned fullbacks and goalie hope to keep Catholic competitive. Up front, the Beavers will undoubtedly miss the graduated Joe Gates and his 14 goals from a season ago. Aiden Wharton-Mohammed, currently hampered by injury, is the team's best bet for generating offense.
Lebanon Catholic defeated Lancaster Mennonite-Hershey and Northern Lebanon last year. The Beavers open 2016 at Dayspring Christian on Sept. 3.
"The main thing is having fun, letting the kids giving 100 percent effort and whatever happens, happens," Long said. "We don't go in expecting to lose. But we are real and know we probably will, At least have the hope until it's diminished."