ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub soccer team kicked off its first week of fall practices for the 2022 season Monday afternoon. Rochelle will lean on its returning Seniors as the Hubs look to build on a 9-12 record from last season, the program’s first losing season since 2015.
“It’s always exciting to see what we have when we start the season,” head Coach Brad Male said. “Our numbers are a little low but I’m hoping to see some more kids come out over the next couple of days. I always look for our Seniors to be leaders and they understand how our program works. I’m asking a lot from them this season and they’ve really shone so far.”
Rochelle will begin the season with a home match against Genoa-Kingston on Monday, Aug. 22. The Hubs will compete in the Colin Smith Invitational at Stillman Valley from Aug. 26-27 before opening the Interstate 8 Conference schedule at Plano on Aug. 29. Rochelle lost two Interstate 8 All-Conference players from last season including Josue Orozco and Bryce Whitehead.
“Our goal is always to win matches, but I want to see these boys continue to improve as a team as the season moves forward,” Male said. “It’s about having a team mentality and we always talk with the boys about how we move forward as a team, win as a team and lose as a team.”
The Hubs will return key starters from last season including Seniors Jace Whitehead and Christian Harding, who each earned All-Conference recognition during the 2021 campaign. Seniors Jared Montano and Nolan Fonfara also return this fall, while junior Diego Salazar as well as sophomores Alberto Casillas and Luis Milan are back to lead the offense up front.
“I think our core group is pretty strong and the boys get along with each other really well,” Male said. “I look forward to seeing our team mentality grow and I think we’ll have a chance to excel.”