The list of challengers among Suburban Council boys soccer teams is getting longer.
Besides usual suspects such as Shenendehowa and Bethlehem, there are several teams that could contend for first place in both divisions. That list includes the likes of Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs and Shaker in the North, as well as Guilderland, Colonie and Mohonasen in the South.
The Suburban Council is loaded from top to bottom, said Colonie coach Michael Trimarchi. "There are certainly no easy games."
"I think it's going to be really tight," said Niskayuna coach Jeffrey Ormsbee. "Anybody can win it. We came on late last year, and I think we'll be in the mix."
The league produced two Section II champions last year " Shenendehowa in Class AA, and Mohonasen in Class A. To repeat, though, both teams have to fend off their challengers.
"Last year, the motivation was, 'What have you guys done?' because we had won league titles before, but the league title isn't a big deal," said Shen coach Michael Campisi. "This year, the motivation is to repeat."
Here is a closer look at the Suburban Council boys soccer field:
Ballston Spa Scotties
Head coach: Garry Preece
Key players: Connor Preece (M/F), Alec Johnson (M), Sean Maruscsak (M/D), Corey Stewart (M), Kevin Marin (F), Dan Bortoloni (M/F), Jeff West (D), Brett Gruener (D), Evan Mendez (G)
Outlook: With most of their starting lineup intact from last year's roster, the Scotties are looking to make more waves in the Suburban Council.
"The team expects to compete for the Suburban Council North Division regular season title, and [it] has set a goal of advancing further into the Sectional tournament this year," said coach Preece.
Johnson and Connor Preece " both league all-stars last year " are expected to lead Ballston Spa's offense once again.