FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Torres developed into one of the Northwest Conference's premier goal scorers last season, recording 14 goals. He increased his output by 11 from the 2011 season. Torres built a strong chemistry with midfielder Logan Smith last year, and with another year of growth, the duo's rapport will undoubtedly be even stronger.
Smiley showed his ability as a play maker in the attack last year, recording a Northwest Conference-best 16 assists and ranking among the league's top 10 in points. With prolific goal scorers David Starkovich and Spencer Wolfe graduated, Smiley will be relied on to provide scoring chances for Squalicum's up-and-coming talents.
Moreno was a force along the Trojans' back line a year ago and will play both in the middle and back third this season. The Trojans have high aspirations with nine seniors, and Moreno will be a key component to Meridian's success. Coach Joe Spencer said Moreno has also taken on a team-leader role.
Schilder is the lone remaining varsity player from Bellingham's 2010 state title team, and he brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and high praise heading into the year. The Red Raiders tied for the second fewest goals allowed in the Northwest Conference last year, and Bellingham's defense should thrive off Schilder's play once more.
Steele may be one of the more intriguing players to watch this year. He led Ferndale with eight goals his freshman season before forgoing his sophomore and junior year to play with the Seattle Sounders Academy. He's accepted a scholarship to play at Oregon State University and should be a fun match up to watch against a Northwest Conference full of strong defenders.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.