Century youth soccer team to be evaluated early – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — The Century High School football team will have a bit of a youth movement this fall, but the Panthers won’t have the luxury of starting the 2022 season.

The Panthers have only seven seniors on the team and coach Jon Vik will rely heavily on freshmen.

“We don’t have a lot of older adults,” Vik said. “We knew this group was going to be small all along.”

Of the seven seniors, Josh Berg (WR/DB) and Ryan LaVoi (OL/DL) started in 2021. Ahmante Davis (RB/DL), Griffin Langer (WR/DB), Luke LaVoi (RB/LB) and Douglas Lee (TE/DB) were all in the rotation a year ago.

“Those kids will certainly play a part on our team on Friday nights and we have a junior class that has some good talent,” Vik said. “And we have a couple of sophomores who can contribute.”

Just like a year ago, the Panthers face a very difficult start to the season. Century plays the same eight teams in exactly the same order as a year ago. The calendar is heavily loaded with New Prague, Owatonna, Mayo and Mankato West opening the year. Century went 0-4 against those teams in 2021 before rallying to go 4-6 and reach the Section 1 AAAA semifinals.

Mayo and Mankato West (outside of Section 2AAAAA) qualified for state tournaments last year and West was the Class AAAAA state champion. Century lost to Mayo in the section semifinals.

“Of all the teams in the Greater Southeast (District), you would look at those four as what most people would say are the top four teams,” Vik said.

Century’s roster will feature 19 juniors and 21 sophomores.

Juniors Jose Mares (WR/DB) and Carson Skime (RB/DB) will have larger roles this season after starting part-time in 2021. Two-way lineman Sean Guingon returns after missing last season with injury, while that other juniors are very Will feature Ron Chieves (OL/DL), Robert Falk (OL/DL), Drew Goetz (RB/LB) and Miles Prochnow (OL/DL).

Vik said that about three or four sophomores could see a lot of action. Chris Garcia-Lara (WR/DB) and Ngalame Nkwelle Mesumbe (RB/LB) could break the starting lineup.

“We are going to be young across the board, in all positions,” Vik said.

Junior Harrison Esau will be the starting quarterback. He saw duty as a sophomore and completed 8 of 11 passes for 114 yards.

The Panthers have some experienced skill position players, especially a couple of junior receivers. Jacob Wills led the team in receptions a year ago (22 receptions, average 10.9 receiving yards) when he received an All-District honorable mention. Eli Thompson, who switched to tight end, was fourth (10 catches, 10.3 avg) on ​​the team in receptions. Berg was third on the team with 13 catches and averaged 19.5 yards per catch.

“We will have to rely on the fact that our boys have some ability as skillful players, but they will have to be able to play tough football,” Vik said. “Because (the Greater Southeast District) is a tough football brand.”

The Panthers have some potential on both ends of the line. Ryan LaVoi, Luke’s twin brother, should be the anchor of the offensive line and is a good size player at 6-foot-2, 275 pounds. Guingon is another key lineman, though Vik admits Century will once again lack overall size up front.

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“We won’t be one of the big teams in terms of size,” Vik admitted. “We’re not going to be ‘Pushing people around because we’re bigger and stronger than everyone else.’ But that has never been our school. I can’t remember a time when we were the big strong team. We’ve always had good skill players.”

Century’s goal is to continue to get stronger in the weight room throughout the season, gain experience and work together as a team in an effort to play the best they can come the postseason.

“We need to get better every day and know our assignments,” Vik said. “When you have a young team, that’s all you can do is build things.”

Century will play a pair of Saturday games, in consecutive weeks, against Mankato West and Austin in Weeks 4 and 5.

“They are having a huge shortage of officials,” Vik said. “It’s one of those things you have to adjust to.”

september 2 — in New Prague, 7 pm
September 9 — Owatonna, 7 p.m.
16 of September — May, 7 p.m.
24th September — in West Mankato, 12:00 p.m.
October 1st — Austin, 6 p.m.
October 7 — at Northfield, 7 p.m.
October 14th — John Marshall, 7 p.m.
October 19 — in Winona, 7 p.m.

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