Determined to make a jubilant return to the promised land, the Knights of Foothill High School are ready for battle once again as they embark on their 2018 campaign.
In a 2017 season that saw them go on a magical playoff run after a 10-10 regular season, the Knights won the Orange County title but lost 13-4 to a seasoned Loyola team in the Southern Section finals. They finished with a 14-11 overall record but won’t soon forget the drubbing by Loyola.
Entering 2018, it’s safe to say Foothill will use that loss as motivation in its quest to recapture the section crown it last won in 2014 — before any current Knights were in high school.
Coach Jon Fox will enter his 20th season leading a team filled with young and athletic talent. The winning culture Fox has established at Foothill has not only brought the Knights multiple championships in years past, but has made the program a renowned powerhouse in all of Southern California.
The Knights did lose last year’s senior captain in Cole Falbo, who was tied for second on the team with 27 goals, but senior Joshua Fox and sophomore Andrew Cumming should more than make up for Falbo’s departure. Last year, Fox netted 33 goals to go along wth 18 assists while Cumming scored 29 goals and dished out 17 assists.
Rounding out Foothill’s formidable offense will be sophomore attackman Troy Hofer and senior midfielder Wyatt Kayl. The two chipped in more than 10 goals apiece last season and are set provide a great deal of support to an already high-octane offense. Kayl, in particular, has been Foothill’s workhorse in the midfield, doing all the little things that helps the team come out on top.
Senior Ohio Wesleyan commit Miles Smart also returns, giving the Knights a solid presence at the face-off dot. He won 184 of 330 face-offs last season (.558).
As always, Foothill has a daunting schedule lined up, including match-ups with Corona del Mar, San Clemente, Santa Margarita and, of course, Saturday’s season opener against Loyola — a rematch of last year’s final. Over Spring Break, the Knights will travel North to face perennial NorCal powers St. Ignatius and San Ramon Valley, who went 20-2 and 20-3 in 2017, respectively.