Railer soccer team looks to get back to state

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton senior Mikey Parga scored six goals with five assists last season, making him one of the Railers’ leading returning scorers.

Players to watch:

• Senior Mikey Parga

• Junior Collin Hershberger

Coach’s pick for top opponents:

AV-CTL I – Maize South, Maize, Derby, Campus.

Non-League — Dodge City, Eisenhower, Andover Central, Andover.

Schedule:

Aug. 28 McPherson 1 p.m.

Aug. 31 @ Goddard 6 p.m.

Sept. 2 @ Goddard Eisenhower 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 6-11 @ Titan Classic, Wichita South TBA

Sept. 16 Andover 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 @ Andover Central 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 @ Salina Central 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 30 Campus 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 @ Maize South 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 Hutchinson 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 Maize 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 14 @ Arkansas City 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 @ Derby

Oct. 21 Salina South 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 25-28 Regionals

Nov. 2 State quarterfinals TBA

Nov. 5-6 State @ TBA

The Newton High School boys’ soccer team fell just shy of a state berth last season, and with 12 players returning, the Railers will look to get over that hump.

Scott Jantzi returns for his 17th season as the Railer coach. He is 147-137-14 at Newton. He is assisted by Mark Pierce and Marco Valdivia.

Newton was 11-7 last season, 3-3 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play last season.

In the post-season, Newton topped Emporia 3-2 in the first round of the Class 5A regionals. In the regional finals, the Railers fell to Andover Central 2-1.

“We are returning 12 with seven of those being returning starters,” Jantzi said. “We are looking to go further than we did last year after a disappointing loss in the regional final. We have been working hard over the summer, and have seen some good things. Our defense will be solid, middlefield will be work horses, and we have talent upfront that will frustrate opposing defenses. I like the commitment these young athletes have shown. The team as a whole will compete for some hardware this season. Can’t wait to see how they perform with everyone available.”

The seven starters returning include seniors Mikey Parga (6 goals, 5 assists), Joel Franz (2 g) and Jose Torres-Dunnahoo (1 g); and juniors Collin Hershberger (8 g, 4 a), Jesus Renteria (1 a), Eduardo Lopez-Garcia (2 g, 1 a) and Ezra Entz.

Also back are seniors Aaron Downey, Danny Gonzalez-Arevalo and Misael Campos Cisneros (1 g); junior Jiovani Valdivia (1 g); and sophomore Victor Medina.

In the AV-CTL I, Maize is the defending Class 5A state runner-up. Jantzi said other contenders include Maize South, Derby and Campus.

Among the top non-league foes, Dodge City is the defending Class 6A state champion. Andover Central took fourth at Class 5A state. Other top foes include Andover and Goddard Eisenhower.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com