Charlestown has been in rebuilding mode the past couple of seasons, but the Pirates should improve from last year’s five-win total.
Senior Rodrigo Martinez and sophomore Jose Arrendondo give Charlestown two playmakers and Michael Navetta and Esdras Hernandez are strong in the midfield for a Charlestown team looking to build on its momentum.
“This season we expect to show our experience and skill at every position and reinforce that maturity with improved strength and athleticism,” Charlestown coach Andrew Smith said. “Anything less than 10 wins this season should be a big disappointment to everyone in our program.”
Even with the loss of Cesar Hernandez, Smith expects the Pirates to compete for a Mid-Southern Conference title.
“We have been looking forward to this year being one in which we think we have an outside chance of making that happen,” Smith said of winning the MSC, noting that Corydon Central is still the favorite.
The Pirates have moved up into a Class 2A sectional this season that includes state runner-up Columbus North along with Columbus East.
A year ago, the Warriors came up one goal shy of potentially winning their second consecutive sectional title then watched Providence advance all the way to the semistate.
Eight starters return for a CAI team that expects to push the Pioneers for the sectional crown again in 2013.
“We have a lot of varsity experience returning this year with some great new additions,” CAI coach Will Lorigan said. “Our goal is always to win a sectional and then see how far we can go from there. We have a lot of talent spread around the field. It is just a matter of figuring out where all the parts fit best.”
Forwards Minho Lee and Cole Ragland are back along with midfielders Garrett Couch, Sean Kim and Nic Reed, defenders Zabdiel Ramirez and Trent Kastensmidt and keeper Lucas Young.
“Our team is very young, but very talented,” Lorigan said. “More importantly, they have great character and look to be a witness for Christ on the field and in the community.”