KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - With all time scorer Dean Hogg on the sidelines with a season non-starting knee injury, Keystone Heights High soccer coach Trevor Waters is trying to fast track one of his players …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - With all time scorer Dean Hogg on the sidelines with a season non-starting knee injury, Keystone Heights High soccer coach Trevor Waters is trying to fast track one of his players to replace the 3-4 goals per game that Hogg put on the scoreboard in establishing his record-setting pace last year.
“He made one cut last year and his knee popped and that was that,” said Waters, who won a 3-1 win over a strong Fernandina Beach team on Monday to push to 5-3-2 overall with a 3-3 tie with P.K. Yonge on Friday a highlight game for the new season. “We have a lot of new faces that ww are now ramping up to learn quickly the pace of our kind of soccer and our kind of opponents.”
In 2019, with Hogg blasting away for 47 goals for the year, Keystone Heights finished strong with a district tournament final loss to Crescent City and a double overtime 3-3 loss in Tallahassee to Florida State University High School in the region playoffs, Waters depended on a slew of seniors to take on the lofty schedule of games, 27 total, with Hogg the ringleader behind seniors Colby Townsend, 31 goals, and Landon Rickets, 25 assists as well as defender Jay Payne.
“I was excited to see who was going to combine with Dean this year to make the goals for us, but his season was shot last year,” said Waters. “It’s all new people up front and junior Chris Anderson seems to be taking on the role as scorer.”
Anderson, who as a sophomore scored just nine goals in 27 games, already has 10 for this season. Waters’ second scorer is senior Chris Truman, who has five after putting just four last year.
“We used to tell Dean that if he got the ball in the middle of the field in front of the goal not to pass it,” said Waters. “He was so fast with the ball that he just ran through the defense and took his shot. I think Chris is trying to take on that role. We got him in kind of a hybrid position from the midfield in as a forward.”
For the rest of the team, Waters is seeing youthful vigor and a lot of learning.
“I got a bunch of sophomores and a few juniors with little varsity game experience,” said Waters. “Senior Luke Van Zant has been scoring some goals. He’s playing his first season as a varsity starter.”
Waters liked returning starter Tyler Shaw as his lead guy on the team. Sophomore Skylar Kedgley is also making plays.
“Tyler doesn’t play a lot of club, so his decision making process is a little behind what the club guys do, but he will go get the ball and move into down the field,” said Waters. “He’ll win balls on scrums in the middle of the field. Skylar is a big kid for a sophomore and could be very good the next few years.”
One name on the schedule that seems to be the bugaboo for Waters is rival Crescent City with two wins; 5-1 and 3-1, over the Indians already.
“They just always have the kind of talent that plays very well against our style,” said Waters. “We played them the first game, I underestimated them. They have a couple good shooters.”