Havelock has senior-laden squad for new soccer season


Havelock's Noah Kemble kicks the ball in front of new soccer coach Jeremiah Johnson during practice last week. Kemble, a Division I college recruit, returns for his senior season with the Rams.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 02:21 PM.

The Havelock boys soccer team faces many new things entering the 2013 season. There are two new Coastal 3A Conference opponents, a new non-conference schedule dotted with state championship contenders, a new state playoff-qualifying system and a new head coach in Jeremiah Johnson.

What isn’t new are the players, as the Rams have 13 seniors to tackle what arguably could be the toughest soccer league in the state.

"It’s going to be more of a challenge," Johnson said of the league. "Overall, I think we have the most dominant conference in the state."

Jacksonville is the defending 3A state champions, and White Oak is a perennial state title contender. New league member Swansboro was a state power in the 1A and 2A ranks, and newcomer Richlands has proven to be competitive over the years with the best of Onslow County soccer.

"It’s going to be a very challenging season, but I think we’ll do well," Johnson said.

Johnson peppered his non-conference schedule with strength as well, such as county rival New Bern, defending state 1A champ Southwest Onslow, former state champ Dixon, and 4A playoff teams Wilmington Ashley and Wilmington Laney.

"The boys wanted to have a challenge, and we have some challenging non-conference games," Johnson said. "We wanted some good games, not throw-aways."

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