Boys’ soccer draws on experience

James Ball

The Tahoe-Truckee High School boys’ soccer team’s breakdowns look good on paper: nine seniors, seven juniors and three sophomores.

If the nine seniors have long memories, the team stands to fare well as a state contender this year. TTHS won the state title in 1995, 1996 and fell to North Tahoe in the 1997 championship game.

Senior Taylor Greene was on the 1996 championship team and the 1997 second-place team, and he’s warning North Tahoe that he hasn’t forgotten about last year’s defeat.

“We’re a pretty strong team that’s been together many years,” Greene said. “We work well with each other.”

Greene said though he hasn’t had a chance to see the competition from Southern Nevada, the Wolverines’ chances of success are good.

“It would mean a lot,” Greene said of reclaiming the title.

Head coach Larry Leatherman said the team will draw on experience this year.

“We’ve got some good younger kids coming up who will benefit from that experience,” Leatherman said.

Along with Greene, the experienced players include Kyle Barth and Wes Thelin, both of whom were all-conference halfbacks last year. Seniors Tom Hernandez and Jim Leatherman also bring experience to the team.

For the younger players, sophomore offensive player Elias Silver and defender Gene Moniz have caught Leatherman’s attention.

Starters are up in the air, Leatherman admits, but a scrimmage against Nevada Union today should help sort things out.

“That will give players time on the field to see where they’ll be playing,” Leatherman said.

This year’s schedule is fairly similar to last year’s, with several exceptions of note. Southern division teams like Pahrump, Moapa and Boulder City will be added to the lineup, taking the team on several trips to the Las Vegas area.

Also new is the fact Truckee will play each team twice this year, one game away and one at home.

Within the division, North Tahoe looks to contend again, having lost only one player.

“They’ll rely on their experience,” Leatherman said. “They’re probably the team to beat this year.”

Leatherman said another matchup with the Lakers in the championship game would be “just fine.”

Incline should be tough, as well, he said.

“They have a couple of good keepers and field guys.”

As far as what he expects from his players, Leatherman said, “I’m looking for a solid performance from the guys and to continue the winning tradition of Truckee soccer.”

After a weekend tournament, Truckee will face Manogue in the home opener Tuesday, Sept. 1.

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