MaxLaxOC.com Preseason Boys Top 20 Countdown: #7 San Clemente

san_clemente_tritons-1Number 7: San Clemente returns this year with some of the most talented players in the county. Coach Mike Hutnick’s sophomore year will be successful if he can guide the team through a difficult schedule and notch important wins against Top 10 teams.

San Clemente Tritons

Conference: South Coast League

Head Coach: Mike Hutnick

Assistant Coaches: John Madden, Corey Hamilton

2013 Record: 13-6 (Lost to Foothill, 14-4, in second round of playoffs)

Coach Mike Hutnick enters his second season at the helm of the Tritons with a team loaded with veteran senior leadership. While most programs would be thrilled with a 13-6 record, the Tritons were disappointed not to make a deep playoff run a year ago, and senior captains Stone Sims, Austin Streeter, Peyton Garrett and Collin Zines hope to key a more memorable run this year.

Garrett (High Point), Streeter (Bellarmine) and Sims (Albany) are the school’s first-ever Division 1 commits and trigger a potent program. Garrett scored 63 goals and 29 assists last year earning second-team All-County and league Offensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight year, while Streeter had 36 goals, 20 assists and a team-high 91 ground balls last year. Junior attackman Jack Renard (team-high 36 assists; committed to play at D3 Kings Point) and the athletic Zines (also an All-County safety in football) team with Austin Lickley and Torin Alm to add firepower.

First-team All-League defenseman Sims led the team with 32 forced turnovers and keys an athletic defense that includes junior Max Lepley, seniors Adam Brownell, Taylor Dodd and Nick Shippy and sophomore Caleb Bozarth. Sophomore goalie Austin Boyer has quick hands and earned league Freshman of the Year honors last year.

The Tritons have loaded up their schedule this year, including a Spring Break trip to Denver to face Colorado powerhouses Cherry Creek and Arapahoe. Also on the schedule are LA powers Palos Verdes, Agoura and Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) as well as OC powers Foothill and Corona del Mar. The league battle will again come down to Tesoro, which has swept each of the past two years in nail biters.

KEY GAMES: March 21 vs. Corona del Mar; March 29 vs. Foothill; April 15 at Tesoro

–MaxLaxOC.com

(This story was updated after Sims’ commitment to Albany)