SPRING HILL — There is a spark on the artificial turf at the Spring Hill High School Sports Complex.

It is the youthful exuberance of a Spring Hill Broncos soccer team that is happy to be on the field.

“Practice has been going great so far,” Spring Hill coach Eric Swartz said. “We have an energy that I haven’t seen for a long time when we are out on the field. Part of it comes with the excitement of having a season that we weren’t guaranteed to have.”

The Spring Hill program features 35 players with 17 on varsity and 18 on junior varsity.

Spring Hill returns 10 seniors from a team that went 5-9-2 a year ago. Experience came the hard way, but with a year of games under their belt, the Broncos are ready to build on last season, Swartz said.

Seniors back for the Broncos are goalie Chezney Haney, winger Ridge Gerstberger, winger John Mitchell, midfielder Jackson Rainforth, defender Evan Robinson, midfielder David Vega, stopper Hunter Williams and defender Keen Knittel.

Spring Hill also returns junior stopper Rocco Russo and sophomore defender Dominic Pemberton.

Newcomers to keep an eye on are sophomore midfielder Caleb Brueckner, sophomore defender Jacob Brueckner, freshman midfielder Denis Martinez and sophomore midfielder Jaycob Campos.

“Our team goal this year is to improve each and every week,” Swartz said. “I don’t like setting whole season goals because there are many things you can’t control throughout the season and you need to be able to take things one step at a time.

“Obviously we want to have a better season than we did last year, but we will achieve that by taking it day by day and focusing on the task at hand,” he said. “Our keys to be successful is to play within ourselves. Don’t try and do too much with what is given to you. We have to simplify the game, read the situation around you and make the right decision in that moment. We have the players to be successful, we just need to control the game and set our tempo.”

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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