The rebuilding Chapin boys soccer team has a tough week on tap. Dick Hiller’s new-look Eagles squad completes its portion of the annual Superintendent’s Cup series on Wednesday at Irmo, and will host mighty Northwestern from Rock Hill on Friday.
The Eagles are 1-1 to date, whipping up on Hilton Head Christian, 5-1, in their lone outing at the weather-truncated Lake Murray Challenge preseason tournament and falling to district rival Dutch Fork, 3-1, in their first Superintendent’s Cup match last week.
DF is ranked No. 6 in 4A, Irmo stands at No. 2 in 4A and Northwestern, the defending state champions and currently set at No. 1 in South Carolina and in the USA (according to ESPN). Irmo is seventh in the ESPN national rankings.
Hiller, obviously, doesn’t shy away from top-flight competition, regardless of his team’s circumstances. Chapin graduated six starters, 12 seniors in all from a team that went 22-4 and finished second in the Class 3A state playoffs. The biggest losses are co-region players of the year Greg DeMare (keeper) and Haze Weinspach (midfield).
“We have a young, talented group, one that could be very good if it develops leadership and continues to work,” said Hiller. “We have a very demanding schedule, and we have to have a keeper step up.”
The new-look Eagles will build around five returning starters – junior forward Joey DeMare (JR), who led the team in scoring last season with 19 goals and 46 points, junior midfielder Evan DeYoung, senior Ben Bosco, who moves from center midfield to defense, junior David Kesling, who has anchored the Chapin defense for two seasons, and junior midfielder Colden King, an explosive player who will have to fill a leadership role.