Aaron Carter went right from the field to the sideline when he graduated from Wyoming Area Secondary Center.
After two years as a volunteer assistant to previous coach Nick Hufford, Carter takes over as head coach of the boys soccer team that includes some of the teammates from his senior year.
Ryan Shuleski, among the current seniors who were freshman during Carter’s senior season of 2013, is ready for his fourth season at forward. He leads a group of six returning starters.
“For the most part, we’re trying to keep it similar to last year,” Carter said. “We’re still making some slight changes.”
Shuleski is one of four seniors among the returning starters. Brendan Lee joins Shuleski at forward Jason Mapes and Mike Wall take care of the middle of the defense in Wyoming’s Area 4-4-2 diamond alignment.
The midfield will be young.
The returning starters there are junior Casey Orlando on the outside and sophomore Damian Bronsburg in the middle.
Carter is still sorting out the rest of the midfield, which could include promising freshman Luke Coolbaugh in the middle.
“Right now, we’re sort of experimenting with a couple different combinations,” he said.
The new coach also has other positions to settle. He’s confident in Maples and Wall “controlling the center” of the defense, but is trying to determine who will handle the outside spots.
There are four goalies to select from, but none have any varsity experience.
Shuleski and Lee form what could be the team’s strength.
“We actually have a very strong offensive team,” Carter said.
Wyoming Area went 3-10-3 last season and, with realignment will be in the higher of the Wyoming Valley Conference’s two divisions, playing other large schools twice instead of balancing its schedule between large and small schools.
“We’re in a rather tough division, playing all the big names like Dallas, Crestwood, Valley West and Coughlin,” Carter said. “I think it’s definitely going to be a challenging year, but the way these guys are showing their improvement on the field and with their ball skills, I think we’re be able to turn some heads.”