“I was surprised the coaches picked us that low,” Brubacher said. “But I think that’s more of a reflection on the coaching change than the talent level of the team.”
Indeed, the Bluejays return a group of veterans that includes the man Brubacher termed the team’s “heart and soul.”
“Chris Adrian has done everything one player can do for a team the past couple years,” Brubacher said.
The team has four seniors in addition to Adrian (5 feet 10 inches, 150 pounds): Luke Froese, Pa Nyang, Sam Flaming and J Hull.
Froese has been with the program four years and will be counted on to patrol the team’s back line. Nyang is in his second year with the team.
“Pa has good athleticism and good foot skills,” Brubacher said. “He spent most of last year adjusting to our style, and he’ll probably be playing effectively as an attacker this year.”
Flaming has been with the team for four years as a backup goalkeeper.
“Sam is a great team guy, and is competent in goal,” Brubacher said. “If we need him, I have confidence he’ll come in and do a good job.”
The Bluejays also return starting goalkeeper Aaron Schmucker (6-0, 180) as well as sophomore midfielder/forwards Andy Adrian (6-4, 170), Silas Hibbs (5-10, 155) and Ben Ruzinsky (5-11, 165).
Dallas Pruitt (5-10, 180), a sophomore midfielder/defender will also be integral to the team’s success.
“We also have some new guys who have shown well so far,” Brubacher said. “Josh Reiswig is a really talented player we expect to have contribute as a freshman.”
Another newcomer, Andy Brubacher, is instantly familiar to Tabor basketball fans. The Hillsboro native last played soccer competitively at Elyria Christian High School.
“He will bring athleticism and strength to the team as he gets back into the game,” Grant Brubacher said.
Tabor opens its non-conference schedule 4 p.m. Thursday in Hillsboro against the University of Science & Arts from Chickasha, Okla.