Where Are They Now?
The Sauce Squad started with an extreme amount of hype coming straight out of tryouts. The team dominated the preseason with a record of 3-0-1, beating Sycamore, Walnut Hills, and tying Lakota East. Moeller also managed to gain a 3-1 victory over Mason, who beat Moeller last year in the semi-finals in the State Tournament.
The team had plenty of momentum rolling into the regular season, ranking #3 in the city. I filmed and produced a documentary series featuring the varsity team called “Road To State”, with the first episode covering Moeller’s second consecutive victory of the Crusader Cup, winning the championship 6-0 against St. Edwards. However, the team seemed to lay off the gas pedal once they played St. Xavier, featured in the second episode, losing 4-1. The third episode shows the squad’s celebration and performance on Senior Day, winning 2-1 against Fairfield.
The regular season ended on a sour note, finishing with a second loss to La Salle and a final record of 7-7-2. The Crusaders entered the State Tournament but, their season ended abruptly as they lost in the first round to Milford with a score of 1-0.
For all of the seniors, it was the last time they would compete in the soccer program with the “M” stamped on their heart. However, after the harsh end to the season, some of the seniors are continuing their career for one final session in the spring; others are pursuing competition at the collegiate level, while a couple are officially hanging up their cleats.
Nick Everly '17
Nick first played for Coach Mike Welker his freshman year, playing on JVB as a defender. He then played JVA his sophomore year, played football the next, and then came back for his last year in high school to play for Welker again on varsity. “I was really lucky to get to play with my friends again one more time this season. But I think this is my last season of competitive soccer,” says Everly. He plans on enjoying the college experience while focusing on academics. “I want to study marketing, hopefully at Ohio State University. But I’m also looking at University of South Carolina, University of Dayton, as well as West Virginia University.”
Beau Wiles '17
Just before the start of the season, Beau suffered from a traumatic accident, breaking his leg. But his first year at Moeller was also spent on JVB for Mike Welker before playing JVA sophomore year and varsity for the rest of his high school career. Coming into the regular season, Wiles was the starting keeper for Moeller as well as one of the three varsity captains. But his severe injury took away his ability to compete athletically. Beau explains, “I wish I could play again, obviously. But the rod they placed in my leg prevents me from doing so ever again. But if I could even have the chance to move the way I did again, I would do it. Even if it meant I had to learn how to physically play again.” Beau plans on focusing on academics more as well as enjoying and exploring the college atmosphere. “I’m not exactly sure where yet, but I want to study nursing or physical therapy,” he says.
Johnny Graves '17
Like the previous two, Graves played on JVB for Coach Welker freshman year, becoming one of the top scorers on the team. Sophomore year, he played JVA and then played varsity the rest of his time at Moeller. “I’m playing for Star SC this spring. But I think this spring is it for me because I don’t want to play in college. But I do want to study sports management, and I’m looking at attending West Virginia University, Ohio University, University of Kentucky, or University of Tennessee.”
Ethan Clarke '17
After playing football his freshman and sophomore year, Ethan joined the soccer program for his last two years as a Crusader, walking on varsity as a defender. At the end of this season, Clarke placed on the Second Team All GCL. However, just like Johnny, he will be playing one more session before giving it up. “I’m going to play one more spring season with Johnny for Star,” he says. “Then I’m going to go into pharmacy hopefully at Ohio State University, University of Georgia, Auburn University, or University of Tennessee.”
Ryan Benson '17
Ryan is one of the few to attempt to continue his athletic career in college. He played on JVA for the first half of his high school career and varsity for the remainder, becoming a varsity captain his senior year. “I used to play for Star SC, but I am now on CUP Gold for this spring. I have a couple colleges looking at me such as Ohio Dominican University and Thomas More University,” Benson says. “Ideally, I’d like to walk on the varsity team or play club at Ohio State University, but we’ll see.”
Matt Bugada '17
Matt played on JVA his freshman year. But the rest of his high school career was spent on varsity, being a captain his senior year as well as making the All City Team, First Team All GCL, and receiving a GCL Academic All Star Award. “I will be playing club this spring for Cincinnati United Premier Gold. I am looking to play in college; however, I don’t want soccer to choose where I go. I will only go to a school that is a good academic fit for me,” Bugada explains. “A number of schools are looking at me for soccer, but I’m seriously interested in about half of them, including University of Dayton, Case Western Reserve University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Denison University.” Matt plans on studying chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, or biochemistry.
Nick Howell '17
Nick Howell played JVB his freshman year before moving to JVA sophomore year, and then varsity for his final two years. He would like to play in college but he isn’t sure where exactly yet. Nick will be playing for CUP Gold this spring where he hopes to officially receive offers from some of the schools that have been looking at him. “I’ve been in communication with Walsh University, Earlham College, as well as Ohio Dominican University, but I haven’t settled on which school I’m going to go,” he explains. “But whether I end up playing soccer or not, I’m interested in University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, University of Dayton, Ohio State University, and Miami University.” Howell wants to major in biology and go into pre-med and study optometry.
After the four years of adversity these seniors have faced, they will be congratulated and sent off by their fellow peers, classmates, teammates, and family later this month at their team banquet. The helm will then be passed down to this year’s juniors while the seniors are wished the best of luck in the accomplishments that may come in their near future.