Chittenden County high school boys soccer outlook

BURLINGTON

Coach: Fran Demasi (fifth season)

Last season: 13-3; lost to South Burlington in Division I semifinals

This season: 1-0

Key returnees: Hussein Mubarak, midfield, senior; Elliot Maher, goalie, senior

Key newcomers: Manoj Karki, midfield, sophomore; Sam Hogg, back, sophomore

Outlook: The graduation of 16 seniors would be a massive undertaking for any team in the state. And the Seahorses not only face that reality, but they must also contend with the departure of center back Ekrem Hadzic, who left for prep school. For a program that went 42-8 in the last three years and captured the 2016 Division I title, is 2018 a rebuild or reload campaign? “It’s probably a rebuilding year, but I think by the end of the season we are going to be a tough team to play,” Demasi said. The team’s youth is talented and technical, and Demasi said he hopes by keeping 27 players on the roster, it will create a healthy competition on a weekly basis. “Finding the top 11 is a difficult thing to do right now.”

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