Ranger girls seek another big year

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Forest Park girls soccer coach Brad Weyer speaks to his team at their midnight practice Monday morning at Cedar Crest Intermediate.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

BRETZVILLE — Forest Park girls soccer achieved new heights when it went to semi-state in 2020. The Rangers ended their season with a 3-0 loss to Park Tudor in semi-state, but that loss left Brad Weyer looking forward to the future.

For the Rangers, the future is now, as they return a lot from last year’s team. There’s a big diversity in ages this year, as Forest Park fields seven seniors, but also six freshmen.

Weyer touted how much hard work his sophomores, juniors and seniors have put in this offseason, coupled with the maturation they have shown.

“It’s a really exciting time,” Weyer said. “The start of every season is always exciting because it’s new. You get new personnel, you’ve got lots of new faces. So, it’s very exciting.”

Forest Park said goodbye to a trio of seniors in Ava Hamilton, Linda Jacob and Katie Russell. Weyer noted how integral the three of them were to the team, as Hamilton and Jacob were defenders, while Russell was a scorer.

He named names of those who could possibly fill some of the spots the seniors left.

“We got Audrey Delagrange, who will probably play in the back somewhere — (a) very talented freshman,” he said. “And then we’ve got Ava’s sister, (junior) Sara Hamilton, who’s probably going to take her spot.

“And then we got (sophomore) Ashlyn Dilger and (fellow sophomore) Grace Sutherlin and (junior) Kayla Fischer — all who are really working hard to compete for those vacancies,” Weyer continued.

Weyer noted that last year’s team didn’t have one main scorer, and he sees that being the same way this year. He felt last year’s balance was what made the team so great.

The 2020 Rangers had a number of scoring options they turned to — seniors Abbie Jahn, Emma Grundhoefer, Payton Dilger and Leah Dilger, or sophomores Ali Wahl and Addison Weyer. Weyer also named some of this year’s freshmen, Maggie Kerber and Addison Schipp, as potential scorers.

Weyer is envisioning Addison Weyer, Kerber and fellow freshman Hattie Dilger as candidates to play forward.

He’s looking forward to getting his freshmen involved this year, and feels a lot of them can contribute.

“Audrey Delagrange is just really tough, (a) really smart player — great defender,” Weyer said. “Hattie Dilger is really fast. Addison Schipp — smart player, plays the midfield really well, knows how to distribute. And Maggie Kerber, if and when she’s healthy, she’s going to potentially compete for some starting minutes. We just got to get her 100%.”

The Rangers return a lot of their midfield in Grundhoefer, Leah and Payton, Jahn, Wahl, senior Claire Eckert and junior Zoe Becher. They also have senior keeper Madison Wathen back in goal.

Forest Park is scheduled for a scrimmage Aug. 14 at Heritage Hills, while the regular season opens two days later at home against Pocket Athletic Conference foe Princeton.

There could be an opening for the Rangers to potentially get even farther this year, as Park Tudor ascended to Class 2A, as did last year’s Class A state champion, Lafayette Central Catholic.

“I’m pretty confident that we’ll have the right pieces in the right place come the end of the season to make a deep run again,” Weyer said.




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