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40 male soccer players in high school who should be watched in Southwest Indiana in 2023


EVANSVILLE — The Indiana High School Athletic Association boys soccer season begins in earnest this weekend.

That's good news for Southwestern Indiana. The area is home to several of the top programs not just in Southern Indiana but arguably the state. Six teams were ranked in the coaches' preseason rankings. There's a chance we could see one of them at Carroll Stadium in October.

To start the season, here is a look at 40 players to watch in the Courier & Press coverage area based on returning talent or impact for their respective team. This list is in alphabetical order.

Cal Armstrong, Central

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Rosales Films

The junior midfielder led the team with five goals last season. He was a Second Team All-City selection.

Cobe Arruffat, Harrison

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Indian Hills Media

The sophomore defender played well in his varsity soccer debut. Had one goal and seven assists. Second Team All-SIAC and Second Team All-City selection.

Harrison’s Santiago Arruffat (2) is defended by North’s Samuel Daugherty (8) as the Harrison Warriors play the North Huskies at Castle High School in Newburgh, Ind., Wednesday evening , Oct. 5, 2022.

Santiago Arruffat, Harrison

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MaxPreps

A strong midfielder and the top returning playmaker for the Warriors. The senior had seven goals and eight assists last season. First Team All-SIAC and First Team All-City selection.

Weston Babb, Reitz

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Capybara in a suit - Football

The junior midfielder is the top returner for the Panthers. Had three assists last season. Second Team All-SIAC and First Team All-City selection.

Ivan Bennett, Memorial

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CBS Sports

The sophomore midfielder began his career strong with seven goals and four assists. All-City honorable mention selection.

Memorial’s Ivan Bennett (18) is defended by Providence’s Luke Richards (3) during the Memorial Tigers vs Providence Pioneers for the IHSAA 2A Boy’s Regional Championship game at Gwaltney Sports Complex in Washington, Ind., Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15, 2022.

Nick Boes, Memorial

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MaxPreps

One of the top returning goalkeepers. The junior posted a 0.97 goals against average with seven shutouts. Second Team All-City selection.

Bronson Bryant, Washington Catholic

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NCAA Championships

The senior was an All-Blue Chip Conference selection last season. Had 10 goals and a team-high 15 assists.

Addison Day, Castle

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We Are Iowa Local 5 News

The senior emerged as a strong midfielder last season. Finished with three goals and a team-high 12 assists. Second Team All-SIAC selection.

Castle’s Addison Day (2) dribbles the ball down the field as the Castle Knights play the Memorial Tigers at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Sept. 14, 2022.

Grant Doherty, Mount Vernon

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SKILLER

The senior broke the program record with 25 goals last season as the Wildcats had their best year since 2000. First Team All-PAC selection.

Memorial’s Brayden Wynn (11) is defended by Washington’s Jairo Dubon (16) as the Memorial Tigers play the Washington Hatchets at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Oct. 12, 2022.

Jairo Dubon, Washington

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McEw

The senior midfielder is the only returning all-conference selection for the Hatchets. First Team All-PAC.

Jasper’s Brandon Elizarraras (14) heads the ball as the Jasper Wildcats play the North Huskies at Castle High School in Newburgh, Ind., Saturday evening, Oct. 8, 2022.

Brandon Elizarraras, Jasper

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A four-year starter for the Wildcats. Led the team with 10 goals and 10 assists as a junior. First Team All-SIAC and All-State honorable mention selection.

Preston Gooch, North

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Jay Films

The senior is the top returning goal scorer for the Huskies in what will be a restocked attack. Had six goals and two assists last season.

Isaiah Hamilton, Harrison

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Cash

The senior defender will be a key leader for first-year coach Garrett Smith. Had one goal and four assists last year.

Memorial’s Connor Harding (13) heads the ball as the Memorial Tigers play the Brefeut Jesuit Braves for the 2A Boy’s Soccer Semi State game at Bundrant Stadium in Evansville, Ind., Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2022.

Connor Harding, Memorial

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Trend Central

The senior midfielder will be a vital returner for the defending regional champions. Had three goals and one assist last year. Second Team All-City selection.

Cohen Havill, Memorial

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SimplySoccer

The sophomore forward/midfielder emerged in the postseason last year with a two-goal effort against Washington. Had five goals and one assist on the season.

Memorial’s Cohen Havill (23) runs the ball down the field as he’s defended by Washington’s Ethan Christen (5) during the Memorial Tigers vs Washington Hatchets game at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Oct. 12, 2022.

James Hoffman, Mater Dei

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The senior midfielder was an All-City honorable mention selection last fall. Had one assist.

Ryker Kotmel, Castle

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Bubs Burg

An important returner striker for the Knights. The senior had eight goals and five assists last season.

Castle’s Ryker Kotmel (6) takes the ball down the field while being defended by Memorial’s Tristan Tas (19) during the Castle Knights vs Memorial Tigers game at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Sept. 14, 2022.

Oscar Lara, Heritage Hills

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Rosales Films

The junior midfielder was a Second Team All-PAC selection. Had six goals and five assists last fall.

Braydon Loudermilk, South Knox

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BMORE SOCCER

The junior forward was an All-Blue Chip Conference selection. Had 17 goals and seven assists last season.

Nick Lopez, Jasper

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We Are Iowa Local 5 News

The Wildcats' defensive leader at centerback. Had one assist. Second Team All-SIAC selection.

Castle’s Max McConnell (13) kicks the ball as the Castle Knights  play the Memorial Tigers at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Sept. 14, 2022.

Max McConnell, Castle

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Quarterback Plug

A versatile defensive midfielder for one of the top teams in the SIAC. The senior had nine goals last fall. First Team All-SIAC and All-State honorable mention selection.

Will Minar, Mater Dei

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Rosales Films

The senior will play more in the middle for the Wildcats this fall. Had three goals and one assist last season.

Carlos Morales Ponce, North

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Dylan Anderson

The senior midfielder was an All-City honorable mention selection last season. Had two goals and five assists.

Noah Muller, Forest Park

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Hamilton County Televsion

The senior defender/midfielder was a First Team All-PAC selection for the regional finalists.

Castle’s Maddox McConnell (13) is defended by Jasper’s Jay Pena (10) as the Castle Knights play the Jasper Wildcats at Castle High School in Newburgh, Ind., Wednesday evening , Oct. 5, 2022.

Jay Pena, Jasper

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Rosales Films

The senior is one of several key returners for the SIAC contenders. Had five goals and four assists last season.

Ben Prather, Central

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The senior defender was a Second Team All-SIAC and Second Team All-City selection last season

Castle’s Brady Reiter (3) runs the ball down the field as the Castle Knights play the Memorial Tigers at Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday evening, Sept. 14, 2022.

Brady Reiter, Castle

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MaxPreps

The junior midfielder held his own in his first year of varsity soccer. Had two goals and three assists but expected for a bigger season.

Andrew Santoro, Mount Vernon

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F Fletch

The senior midfielder had an impressive 26 assists in addition to five goals. First Team All-PAC selection.

Memorial’s Kortlen Sears (10) takes the ball down the field as Providence Pioneers defenders pursue during the Memorial Tigers vs Providence Pioneers for the IHSAA 2A Boy’s Regional Championship game at Gwaltney Sports Complex in Washington, Ind., Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15, 2022.

Kortlen Sears, Memorial

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Rosales Films

The senior forward is an important returner in the Tigers' attack. Had four goals and four assists last season. All-City honorable mention selection.

Brady Seaton, North

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We Are Iowa Local 5 News

The top returning goalkeeper in the SIAC. Allowed only 0.89 goals per game as a junior with 11 shutouts. First Team All-SIAC, First Team All-City and All-State honorable mention selection.

Jasper's Chase Spears (0) blocks a shot at the net during the second half of the 3A sectional semifinal at Castle Soccer Stadium in Newburgh, Ind., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. The Knights defeated the Wildcats 2-1 to advance to Saturday’s 3A sectional championship game against the North Huskies.

Chase Spears, Jasper

VIDEO:

The Wildcats don't win a sectional title last year with the senior goalkeeper. Allowed 0.88 goals per game and helmed four postseason shutouts.

Tewodros Stem, Evansville Christian

VIDEO:

The senior tallied 11 goals and six assists, both second on the team, in the Eagles' first year of IHSAA play

Daniel Tkachuk, Castle

VIDEO:

The junior will be an important piece of the Knights' attack. Had five goals and five assists last season.

Simon Theby, Memorial

VIDEO:

A key returner on the back line for the Tigers. The junior defender had three assists last season. Second Team All-City selection.

Brefeut Jesuit’s Julian Bell (7) is defended by Memorial’s Simon Theby (12) as the Brefeut Jesuit Braves play the Memorial Tigers for the 2A Boy’s Soccer Semi State game at Bundrant Stadium in Evansville, Ind., Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2022.

Esau Valdez, Heritage Hills

VIDEO:

The senior emerged as a solid goalkeeper last fall. A Second Team All-PAC selection.

Erik Villalobos, Princeton

VIDEO:

The senior was a Second Team All-PAC selection. Had 11 goals and a team-high 16 assists last season.

David Walling, Reitz

VIDEO:

The junior defender was a Second Team All-City selection last fall.

Mason Will, North

VIDEO:

The senior midfielder will play a pivotal role in the Huskies' attempt to defend its SIAC title. Had three goals and two assists last season. All-City honorable mention selection.

Jasper’s Jay Pena (10) is defended by North’s Yuta Yamanami (7) as the Jasper Wildcats play the North Huskies at Castle High School in Newburgh, Ind., Saturday evening, Oct. 8, 2022.

Seth Williams, Boonville

VIDEO:

The senior is the top returning goal-scorer for the Pioneers. Had 10 goals and four assists last fall.

Yuta Yamanami, North

VIDEO:

One of the few returning starters for the defending SIAC champions. The senior midfielder had two goals and two assists. Second Team All-SIAC selection.

Follow Courier & Press sports reporter Kyle Sokeland on Twitter @kylesokeland.

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