The boys are hungry for a state appearance before they finish their high school careers. The Eagles last reached the state tournament in 2008, when they placed third.
Maize competes in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League’s Division I. The team lost a standout athlete in goalkeeper Blake Andrews, who graduated. He was a first-team pick in the AVCTL and received all-state honorable mention last year.
Maize’s other all-state player, Hayden Morrison, earned accolades as a first-team defender. He returns to help lead the Eagles this fall.
“Hayden Morrison and Blaine Rodman are my two captains,” said Holmes. “Hayden will be leading an entirely new defense and we will be counting on his leadership to solidify our back line.
“I look for Blaine, Angel Dias and Mark Narongvate to lead our attack this season,” Holmes added.
Rodman and Narongvate are seniors. Dias, a sophomore, gained all-league honorable mention as a forward last year.
“Our two returning juniors, Caleb Wilcox and Kevin Combs, do an effective job of anchoring the midfield and transitioning play from our backs to our offensive targets,” said Holmes.
Wilcox and Combs were all-league honorable-mention selections as midfielders last season, when Maize went 13-6.
Other athletes Maize will rely on include senior defenders Greg Eno and Ladd Koster, senior goalkeeper Jeff Light and junior midfielder Saige Chaffin.
The Eagles opened their season Tuesday, Aug. 28, with an 8-0 victory at Valley Center. They will host Andover Central on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Maize will compete in the Titan Classic after placing third in the tournament last year. The boys will take on Kapaun Mt. Carmel in the first round Monday, Sept. 3, at Wichita South.