Gribik shot

DuBois’ Alex Gribik, left, gets off a shot as he fights off Elk County Catholic’s Gabe Kear (20) during a game last year. Gribik is one of five seniors back for a Beavers’ squad looking to defend its District 9 Class 3A title.

DuBOIS — Moving, moving, moving.

Hopefully, all in the right direction for the DuBois Area High School boys soccer team this season.

The Beavers (13-6) have continued to improve each season under head coach Matt Erickson and finished strong again last season.

DuBois, which qualified as the top seed in the district playoffs, won the District 9 Class 3A title in a shootout victory over Bradford then blanked Somerset, 1-0, in a sub-regional matchup before ending its season with a loss to West Allegheny in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs.

DuBois lost a few players from that squad, including keeper Shadi Hassan, to graduation but still return a fairly good core from that squad.

Unfortunately, with some lower numbers this season, the Beavers will have to draw from a younger pool of talent, which is likely to create a slightly longer learning curve.

“It’s probably going to take a few games before some of the younger kids get a better understanding of how we play the game up here and get on the same page as the rest of the team,” Erickson said. “But, once they do, we’ll be a lot better. It’s just going to take us a little time to get there.”

DuBois returns four of its offensive players to the fold including seniors Alex Gribik and Nico McDonald as well as junior Nolan Bussell and sophomore Nick Graeca. That group should allow DuBois to simply tweak its style rather than revamp it.

“For the most part, we’ll have a lot of the same general game plan,” Erickson said. “We changed things up a little bit this year in terms of players’ positions and their roles on the field so, hopefully, we’ll just have to make small corrections.

“One of the things that we’ve been working on is creating more (offensive) opportunities. So, we’re hoping to get a few more numbers up on the board this year.”

However, the defensive side may be where the Beavers need to repair most of their losses as only senior Lane Shaffer and junior Zach Farrell will return.

Senior Jordan Meinert is expected to shoulder most of the duty in goal while freshman Nakai Bussell could also see some time in net throughout the season as well.

DuBois will open the season at the Indiana Tournament this weekend before opening the regular season on the road against Bradford Tuesday.

ROSTER

Seniors: Jordan Meinert, Alex Gribik, Nico McDonald, Lane Shaffer, Tyler Buerk.

Juniors: Nolan Bussell, Anthony Manning, Zach Farrell, Jacob Weber, Austin Mortimer.

Sophomores: Nick Graeca, Justin Kalgren, Hunter Beers, Luke Sprankle.

Freshmen: Eric Flasher, Thaddeus Slima, Ty Montowski, Brayten Sedor, Kylen Duran, Nakai Bussell, Houston Hemke.

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