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ORLEANSâTom Evans is back for his thirty-first year of coaching at Lake Region, and when asked what he has not seen in the game of soccer, it was tough for him to find an answer.
What he does know is that he will be fielding a very competitive team in 2012.
"I am very excited about the year," said Evans. "We lost five seniors which was basically our midfield, so we have our work cut out for us, but we've got a good group of returning players and if we can get the mid-field play we should be ok."
Never one to waste time, the coach already has an idea of who will replace the departed seniors in these critical positions.
"Alex (Beauregard) will be coming out and playing more of a mid-field role, Anthony Wright will be playing there, Carl Oberg is back from last year, and we have a transfer from North Country, Clint (Provoncha), who has impressed me with his work ethic."
Said the new Ranger Provoncha on the move from NCU to LRU, "It was a family decision. Academically (Here) I can get more one-on-one attention, and they have a really good sports program too, some good coaches, and I am really excited."
Changes are being made in goal for Lake Region this year.
As Evans said, Beauregard is moving out of the nets to play in the middle, and is being replaced by a tandem of keepers, Dennis Newland and Logan Harper.
As it stands right now the coach is not sure which keeper will get the start for the team's season opener.
Playing in front of this duo will be a steady crew of veteran players that are familiar with how the Rangers run their schemes.
"Basically we are returning most of our defense. We've got Byron (Burdick) and Drew (Gallup) in the center, and I have six to seven players I can play in the back,"Â said Evans.
Said Gallup, "We are real solid and pretty fast. We will be a solid defense."
"We lost some important players like Caleb Royer and Kyle Perry, but I think we have more than enough to make up for what we lost," added Burdick.
Some of the faces that will be back there include Caleb Lanoue, Jeremy Dean and Isaac Sweeney as well as Josh Locke.
Shaquille Urie will be the point man on offense for the Rangers this season, and Evans like the development he has seen from Urie.
"He has really grown and matured and seems to be much more of a presence up front."
Said Urie on his role within the offense, "Mostly I am an attacker and a finisher. If that is not the case I will be distributing the ball outside, or make outside runs myself and find people in the middle."
According to Evans, Urie will be complimented with "a lot of overlapping players."
As it stands right now, the biggest question mark on the pitch is the midfield, but Evans thinks he has the talent to play the position.
The other thing he brought up was something he was questioning the team about after a recent scrimmage; their desire and heart.
"For the most part they have been successful in their years here playing the game," said the coach. "Now it is up to them to see of they have the drive to keep the success going."
The drive will be tested tomorrow morning when they get their season underway at home against Oxbow.
Game time is 11:00.