The Evanston boys soccer team finished last season with only three wins, and their season ended with a loss to Niles West in the regional round of the Class 3A playoffs. Head coach Franz Calixte said, “Last year was a year to be forgotten on the field. Rest assured we will redeem ourselves this year as we begin the journey of putting Evanston boys soccer back at the top.”

Calixte has reason to believe there will be improvement: this year’s team is full of seniors. The coach said, “We have a very senior-heavy team.  In fact there are only three non-seniors on this big 22-man roster.  This senior class was a special class when they were freshman. They were the largest that we’ve had in at least ten years, with 45 kids [who] came out.”

When asked which players he is counting on this season, Calixte said, “Jordan Metter [a] two-year varsity player. [He] moved up as a sophomore and is one of the most exciting players Evanston has produced in a while.”

Beyond the presence of Metter and the seniors on the team, Calixte said, the players must know their roles: “The players must all understand their roles and play them to their best ability in order for us to be successful this year.  We are a very deep team that will do well once we get our confidence back from last year’s disappointing season.”

The Wildkits opened the season with a 3-2 loss against Fremd on Aug. 25. The upcoming schedule includes home games on Sept. 1-5, where the Kits will host the Evanston tournament, and on Sept. 8, when they take on Highland Park. On Sept. 9 they play Stevenson. Sept.11 brings them face-to-face with Deerfield, and on Sept. 12 they play McHenry.

Coach Calixte said, “We are looking especially forward to playing every team that beat us last year.”

“We will improve upon last year,” added the head coach.  “This is our ‘redemption’ year.  With such a deep team, with no real drop-off in talent, every practice will be a competitive battle for a starting role in the next game.”

Calixte remarked, “Because of the field construction almost all of our home games will be under the lights [7 p.m. start time].  I encourage the Evanston soccer community to come out and support us and start a new tradition of ‘Thursday Night Lights.’”

The last time the Kits went downstate was during the 2003-04 season. With a team full of senior leadership and a hunger for success, look for the Kits to be headed back in that direction come playoff time in late October.