unity soccer team 2011.jpg

Members of the 2011 Fulton Unity Christian High School soccer team are (front row): Jilli Bajema; (second row, from left): Troy Pierce, Jeramie House, Nolan Willoughby, Shawn Hintz, Seth Brown and Clay Dalrymple; and (back row, from left): Sean Hansen, Jonathan Rasmussen, Garith Shinkle, Collin Willoughby, Colby Dykstra, Devin Holesinger and coach Tim Wessels. Missing from photo: Sam Meinema.

Contributed photo
Lifestyle Editor

Fulton Unity Christian soccer coach Tim Wessels says his team could be involved in some high-scoring games this year.

“We should be capable of scoring goals every game,” he said. “On the other side, we will probably struggle keeping other teams from scoring until we get some experience.”

Wessels said his main concern for the Knights was that lack of experience. Unity graduated six seniors from last year’s team mainly from the defense, including the goalkeeper.

He said the main key for his team was “finding capable replacements for the graduated seniors.”

Wessels said he expected Unity to be able to score, though.

Collin Willoughby led the Knights in goals (7) and assists (5) last year as a sophomore. Senior Jonathan Rasmussen scored four goals and had two assists, while sophomore Sean Hansen had three goals.

“Collin, Jonathan and Sean became confident and determined attackers,” Wessels said. “They will need to pick up where they left off last season.”

Wessels said that while the offense was a strength for his squad, it needed to improve even more for the Knights to maximize their success.

“(The) frontline (needs to) become more efficient and proficient at scoring goals,” he said.

He said he was hoping that freshman Shawn Hintz could help Unity progress in that area.

“Shawn Hintz has great quickness and agility,” Wessels said. “That should allow him to be a big contributor as a striker.”

The Knights get to the heart of their schedule in September — seven of 10 scheduled regular-season games are in that month. Unity is scheduled to next take on Cornerstone on Sept. 6 and aren’t scheduled to play at home again until Sept. 20, also against Cornerstone.

Wessels said Faith and Tri-State would likely be the top two teams in the conference.

“Hopefully, we can work our way into third or fourth place,” Wessels said.

For the complete fall outlook on Unity High School sports, pick up a copy of today's Clinton Herald.

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