The future continues to look bright for Ashe County soccer.
After a second round exit in the 2A state playoffs last year, the Huskies will use a team full of experienced seniors and help from a very strong junior varsity team to have an even better season.
“Last year, we graduated the most successful senior class we have had in program history,” said head coach Wes Rousseau.
“This year will probably be the most experienced and deepest senior class we have had.”
Ashe will be led by 10 seniors this year, but will also have a nice blend of exciting, young players from a very successful JV season that featured an undefeated conference slate of games.
This season, Coach Rousseau strives to reach the same standards he sets for his team every year.
“Our goals are to win the conference championship, and advance as far as possible in the state playoffs,” said Rousseau.
The Huskies will have to replace a strong senior class that included Andrew Lopp, Tyler Keagy, Honor Rognstad and Kendrick Leeper.
To do that, the team will turn to several veteran players that know what it takes to win.
Leading scorer Frank Ledezma will be one of the main offensive weapons. As a junior, he is the team’s most experienced striker and will look to continue scoring goals for the Huskies.
Elsewhere, sophomore Miguel Ramos will play a key role on the team this year.
“Miguel has done a lot of good things for us and has grown a lot as a player,” said Coach Rousseau.
Defensively, the team will have some strong leadership on the back line. William Miller anchors the defense in front of goalkeeper Braxton Treadway, who has continued to improve each and every year into a very steady and consistent keeper. Lucas Zeller, Sam Bowers, and Anthony Federico will be big time contributors to the team as well. Rousseau describes them as very intelligent and very gifted players that will make good decisions with the ball.
The 2012 season opens up at home on Aug 14. The game will be against the rival Watauga Pioneers. Last year, Watauga beat the Huskies twice, so Ashe will certainly be out hoping to get some revenge on the Pioneers.
After a couple weeks of non-conference action, the Huskies will open the Mountain Valley Conference season with a road game at Elkin on Thursday, Aug. 30 before returning home for its second conference game, this one against Starmount on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Other games of note include the Huskies’ home battle against Wilkes Central (Sept. 17) followed immediately by a road tilt at Forbush on Sept. 20. The Huskies travel to Starmount on Oct. 4 and will travel to Wilkes Central later in the season on Oct. 17. The final major test of the regular season will be Senior Night as ACHS when the Huskies play host to Forbush on Oct. 22.