Rams return leading scorer Hoomana
HAVELOCK | Ron Thomas is looking to build a soccer program at Havelock High School.
The future of his soccer team starts with its large corps of juniors and sophomores. Thirteen of their 19 players are underclassmen, including last year’s team leader in goals Christian Hoomana.
“We worked a lot on our fitness over the summer, but we are pretty young,” said Thomas, in his second year as Havelock’s head coach. “We are predominantly sophomores and juniors. The future of this program is in the sophomores and juniors.
“We have to get some quality playing time out of those guys if we are going to be successful.”
The Rams won four matches last season, including two in a daunting Coastal 3-A Conference, but lost several key members from that squad.
Hoomana, a junior, netted 18 goals in his breakout year.
“Offensively, he can make a difference in a game,” Thomas said.
Many of the new players were on junior varsity last season and a couple others didn’t play at all.
The Rams are using this non-conference stretch to prepare for a challenging conference play.
“These non-conference games are important for us because what we are doing are getting these guys out on the field,” Thomas said. “I think they are good athletes and they can do the job for us and they are getting their feet wet and learning to play with the rest of the group.”
Havelock dropped its opener at East Carteret on Tuesday with sophomore Vinny Diep making his varsity debut at goalkeeper.
The Rams are replacing the majority of last year’s defensive unit, and are using Bobby Howard, Chase Lucas and Nathan Delacruz to pick up that slack.
Next to Hoomana will be attacking options in Tomas Rosas and Trystan Wallace.
“They are all buying into the program and I love the group of guys that I have,” Thomas said.
Thomas is challenging his team with a difficult non-conference schedule which will be continued against South Brunswick on Friday at the Battle at the Beach.
The road to the end of the season won’t be a cakewalk for the Rams.
The ultimate goal for Thomas and Havelock is a return trip to the playoffs.
The Rams haven’t made it to the playoffs since 2013.
“We need to beat the non-conference opponents that we should be and then in conference play, we have to win some of those games,” Thomas said.
Adam Thompson is the sports editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @A_ThompsonNBSJ