By William

MCPHERSON – The 2020 McPherson Bullpup boys soccer team will have a different look this season as they look to replace eight seniors from a team that went 15-3-1, went undefeated as league champions, won the state regional and played in the state quarterfinals in 2019.

Head Coach Chris Adrian enters his 11 season at the helm of the program and knows it will be a challenge for him as he needs to replace graduates Drew Schrader, Tyler Hoxie, Trenton Stecklein, Nathan Lloyd, Samy Jaime, Jael Jaime, Rhett Edmonson, and Britton Haigh.

“We had an incredible team last season,” noted Coach Adrian. “There were lots of highs with that group as we won several games against some really good teams, and the highlight of the year was winning the Regional Final against Emporia.”

Coach Adrian knows a bit about success as he has put together an overall record of 140-45-6 in his first ten years and the head of the Bullpup boys program.

What he does have with the 2020 Bullpups will be the leadership of returning seniors Cody Achilles who had four goals and ten assists playing forward, and Logan Ediger who returns as a defender.

Regarding his two seniors, Coach Adrian said, “We lost eight seniors, so this year’s team is going to have a different look to it. Despite replacing that many kids, we have a lot of quality in this team and they have had a great summer training. Logan (Ediger) and Cody (Achilles) have done an awesome job as seniors in getting the team together and building a strong sense of togetherness within the group.”

Beyond the two seniors, the Bullpups will also return mid-fielder Cade Hardgrave, a junior who scored five goals and had an assist as a sophomore, along with junior mid-fielder Conner Olson, junior defender Wesley Wurm and sophomore Gavinn Henry who had several bright moments last season as a freshman mid-fielder.

Seven other Bullpups moving up to play more time on varsity that have the coach enthusiastic are juniors Josh Everhart, Drew Wilson, and Tyler Bontrager along with sophomore’s Kadyn McVicker, Tito Mendez, Reid Schuckman, and Michael Martin.

“Our junior varsity team has been strong, and I am really looking forward to seeing some of the juniors and sophomores get their shot at the varsity level and show what they can do,” explained Coach Adrian. “There is also a good crop of freshmen coming in that I am excited to work with as well.”

Coach Adrian concluded his pre-season reflections by saying, “There may be a few growing pains at the start of the season as we have many new players stepping into key positions on the field, but these boys know what it takes to be successful and have had a great summer preparing for this fall season.”

The Bullpups will kick their 2020 season off on Saturday with an early morning, 9:00 a.m., home matchup with Newton before going on the road on Tuesday, September 1 to play Salina South.

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