The Barton Community College men’s soccer team will begin the 2012 season without its four top scorers from last year.
The Cougars graduated 15 sophomores last season, including Fabio de Almeida, Jonson Shaad, Nestor Morales and Ahmad Bah.
Almeida finished with a team-leading 13 goals, with Shaad and Morales behind him with eight. Bah ended the season with seven.
“We lost our top scorers from last year, so we’re going to need some players to step up for us,” Barton head coach Oliver Twelvetrees said.
The player expected to make up the difference is Sam McCrillis.
McCrillis, a third-year sophomore from Shawnee, was redshirted last season. He finished his freshman year with 15 goals and a team-leading 11 assists.
“Sam was a (first-team all-Region VI) player as a freshman,” Twelvetrees said. “We expect big things from him. He’s explosive, and we expect him to lead us in scoring.
“He’s the guy we’ve got to try to get in front of the goal where he’s dangerous.”
Defensively, the Cougars have a pair of returning players — Vinicius Braga and Diogo Quirino.
At midfield and in goal, Barton will have freshman players.
“We have a lot of freshmen on the team,” Twelvetrees said, “but they’re a talented group. It’s going to be a new team. I’m happy that this team will be together for the next two years.”
Among those freshmen are three former Great Bend High School players — Oscar Torres, Sergio Montes and Kevin Morales.
“We always like to bring in local talent,” Twelvetrees said. “They are all working very hard in practice and making great improvements. Oscar is looking really good.”
BARTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Men’s soccer schedule
Aug. 25 — NORTHWEST WYOMING, 10 a.m.
Aug. 26 — OTERO, 2 p.m.
Aug. 28 — At Hesston, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 — At Kansas Weslyan JV, 8 p.m.
Sept. 2 — WESTERN NEBRASKA, 1 p.m.
Sept. 5 — DODGE CITY, 4 p.m.
Sept. 8 — At Iowa Lakes, Noon
Sept. 9 — At Iowa Western, 1 p.m.
Sept. 12 — At Coffeyville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — At Allen County, 4 p.m.
Sept. 22 — At Neosho County, 6 p.m.
Sept. 23 — At Independence, 3 p.m.
Sept. 26 — At Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 — COWLEY COLLEGE, 8 p.m.
Oct. 3 — JOHNSON COUNTY, 4 p.m.
Oct. 10 — At Pratt, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — CLOUD COUNTY, 4 p.m.
Oct. 17 — KANSAS CITY KANSAS, 4 p.m.