JIM THORPE

Head coach Anthony Dixon (Third year)

Assistant coaches Rich Kaminski

League Schuylkill League

Classification AA

Last year's record 6-12

Key losses Richie Buele

Key returnees Dalton Becker (Sr., MID), Shane Bliecher-Otto (Sr., DEF), Caleb Heller (Sr., DEF), Mike Kalage (Sr., DEF), Justin Kaminski (Sr., GK), Kyle Lawrence (Sr., MID), Corey Ligenza (Sr., F), Mike Principe (Sr., MID), Steven Principe (Jr., MID), Matt Rich (Sr., F), Ian Sterling (Jr., DEF)

Others to watch David Castro (Sr., MID), Jose Macareno (Jr., DEF), Jian Gentile (Fr., MID), Andrew Rich (So., DEF), Mike Schwartz (So., F), Nick Montanaro (Sr., DEF), Matt Miller (So., GK)

Strengths Dixon likes his Jim Thorpe boys team a lot this year. The group has played a lot together over the last two years and figure to be a strong all-around team. The team has competed in two summer camps and finished third in two tournaments over the summer. They have worked hard and developed their skills and are poised for a strong season.

Weaknesses Confidence may be the only problem for Jim Thorpe this year. According to Dixon the only ones who can let the players down is themselves. However, he thinks the players are starting to believe in themselves thanks to their great showing in the tournaments.

Quotable "I really like this group. I expect us to challenge for the Schuylkill League championship, make it to districts and maybe even states. This is finally their time to shine," Head coach Anthony Dixon.

LEHIGHTON

Head coach Dave Yob (Third year)

Assistant coaches N/A

League Mountain Valley Conference

Classification AA

Last year's record 2-16

Key losses Shane Fordyce, Josh Eckert

Key returnees Geoff Ebbert (Sr., GK), Anthony Rossino (Jr., F), James Farano (Jr., DEF), Derek Berger (Jr., DEF), Austin Schlosser (Jr., MID)

Others to watch Chris Laewler (So., MID), Cole Christman (So., MID)

Strengths The Indians have been working hard and have done some nice things during their inter-squad scrimmages. They will find out where they stand with the rest of the MVC once they start playing other teams.

Weaknesses With only four seniors on the squad, Lehighton is still a very young and inexprienced team. Ebbert, Farano and Rossino will be asked to keep the team together.

Quotable "Naturally, we are looking to improve upon last year's record. A large freshmen class has improved the program's numbers and several of them have been playing club soccer, so our overall skill level should improve as well," Head coach Dave Yob.

NORTHERN LEHIGH

Head coach Rick Jones (First year)

Assistant coaches Eric Schmidt, Adam Stofko

League Colonial League

Classification AA

Last year's record 10-7

Key losses Channing Shiffert, Thatcher George, Ryan Perkowski

Key returnees Tyler Hoppes (Sr., DEF), Zeb Shiffert (So., MID), Aaron Harding (Sr., F), Sean Mulcahy (Jr., MID/GK), Nathan Rex (So., GK), Nathan Czarnecki (Jr., DEF)

Others to watch Bryce Moser (Jr., MID), Alex Haberen (Sr., F)

Strengths So far Jones has liked the unity the team has shown over the first few days of practice. Together they have shown the eagerness to improve and add on to their success from last season.

Weaknesses Northern Lehigh will boast a rather young squad this year. The team possesses four seniors and five juniors. All the rest are either sophomores or freshmen. It seems as if most of the team will have to learn on the fly in 2012.

Quotable "We would like to make is back to the Colonial League and District playoffs. Our motto so far as been 'From underdog to top dog,'" Head coach Rick Jones.

NORTHWESTERN

Head coach Nate Hunsicker (Second year)

Assistant coaches Josh Gross, Derrick Reinert, Jordan Smith

League Colonial League

Classification AA

Last year's record 10-9-1 overall, 6-6-1 Colonial League

Key losses Andrew Willis, Jeremy Ettl, Ryan McNally, Talon Williams, Clay Collins, Chad Horn

Key returnees Daniel Masetti (Sr., F), Boston Furjanic (Sr. F), Chris Rice (Sr., D), Isaiah Danner (Sr., D), Kyle Snyder (Sr., GK), Daniel Miller (Sr., F), Brandon Ettl (Jr., M), Kyle Willis (Jr., M), Leigham Breckenridge (Jr., M), Brandon Herb (So., M)

Others to watch JD Haaf (Fr., F), Chris Peters (Fr., F), Cody Gangaware (So., D), Matt Strickland (Jr., M)

Strengths The Tigers have depth this season. They have returning players in all parts of the field and expect to be able to possess the ball. Northwestern's midfield, which returns four experienced players, should be strong this season. Senior defender Isaiah Danner returns after earning All Colonial League First Team honors last season.

Weaknesses The Tigers do have some holes to fill. They graduated two all-league players in Willis (Second Team) and Ettl (Honorable Mention) and some other very key players in McNally and goal keeper Williams. All around team defense is something Hunsicker would like to see his team improve as the season gets underway.

Quotable "I like our chances this year. We are a very talented bunch of players. It's just a matter of finding that right combination and meshing our talents together," Head coach Nate Hunsicker.

PALMERTON

Head coach Ryan Sharkazy (First year)

Assistant coaches None

League Colonial League

Classification AA

Last year's record 4-14

Key losses Trevor Sherman, Todd Reichenbach, Sam Oberlander, Lee Shehadeh, Cody Ursin, Corey Leonard, Brett Snyder

Key returnees Spencer Shigo (Sr., F), Matt Leaver (Sr., DEF), Nick Fiouris (Jr., MID), Gabe Scott (Jr., F), Austin Shupp (Jr., MID), Jon Schwarz (Jr., DEF), Dakota Strohl (Jr., DEF), Dylan Furry (Sr., MID)

Others to watch Rich Roselli (So., GK), Trevin Green (Sr., MID)

Strengths Palmerton figures to have a lot of speed this year. The Bombers should be able to get up and down the field quickly and put pressure on the opposition. Also, the team has played a lot tougher so far than it has in years past.

Weaknesses The Bombers lack size, but will hope to make up for that with their quickness. Shupp stands at 6-1 and is the tallest player on the team.

Quotable "I have been impressed with the team chemistry so far. I am expecting a lot out of them this year. I have high expectations and I expect this team to reach them," Head coach Ryan Sharkazy.

PLEASANT VALLEY

Head coach Chris Pachuta (Fourth year)

Assistant coaches Mike Dragotta, Alex Wunder, Ashley Kozicki

League Mountain Valley Conference

Classification AAA

Last year's record 8-10-2

Key losses Anthony Ruiz, Schyler Jacobson, Troy Schauder

Key returnees Jack Wathen (Sr., DEF), Chris Skutnik (Sr., DEF), Connor Phillips (Jr., MID), Berkay Kasal (Sr., MID), Mike Masullo (Sr., MID)

Others to watch Gabe Connell (So., F), Cole Bernier (Jr., MID), Charles Ortiz (Sr., F)

Strengths Pachuta likes the versatility of this year's squad. He feels that all of his players, from one to 24, can play and can play many different positions. That should help the Bears down the road if any major injuries should occur.

Weaknesses Scoring could be the only problem for the Bears. If Pleasant Valley can't put the ball in the back of the net, it can be a long season. If it can, then it can compete with almost every team in the league.

Quotable "Every year our goals are the same. We want to compete for the MVC and District 11 championships. But we have to score. If we don't score it is going to be a long year," Head coach Chris Pachuta.

TAMAQUA

Head coach Greg Stewart (Fourth year)

Assistant coaches Keither James

League Schuylkill League

Classification AA

Last year's record N/A

Key losses Lance Williams, Zack Ruba, Kyle Sabol, Jake Fegley

Key returnees Eric Hertzog (Sr., DEF), Tyler Cimino (Sr., GK), Justin Delp (Sr., MID), Anatoly Dermo (Sr., DEF), Ronnie Olesnovich (Sr., DEF), Cesare Picone (Jr., MID), Steven Balliet (Jr., MID), Josh Delp (So., F)

Others to watch Mike Stisowain (Jr., MID), Ben Miller (So., F), Derek Keich (So., DEF), Matt Sweigert (So., MID), Thorn Devlin (Fr., MID), Robbert Stidham (Fr., MID/DEF)

Strengths Tamaqua has a three-year returning goalie in Tyler Cimino with a solid defense led by Eric Hertzog to support its tested midfield and aggressive forwards.

Weaknesses The loss of two senior defenders, along with Schuylkill League first-team midfielder Jake Fegley, leaves holes that will need to be filled.

Quotable "Our goals are to compete at our highest level possible, have a winning record, win the league playoffs, and qualify for districts for the tenth consecutive year," Head coach Greg Stewart.