Huskies in rebuilding mode

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Cardinal lost nine seniors from last season leaving the Huskies with a young and inexperienced roster heading into the 2018 season.

On top of that, numbers are down.

“With the loss of nine seniors from last season, the Huskies will be very young and inexperienced,” said fourth-year head coach Mike Topalian. “In addition, we might have one sub if everyone stays healthy. This is truly a rebuilding season in every possible way.”

Cardinal finished 10-7-1 last fall.

It will take a lot of effort and heart for the Huskies to match that success this season.

“The Huskies need to take a long-term approach to this rebuild,” Topalian said. “Our seven freshmen must be patient, work extremely hard and not get frustrated by facing so many experienced, quality opponents.”

Cardinal does return three starters and two other letter winners including senior goalkeeper Austin Miller, a first team All-Chagrin Valley Conference honoree.

“Austin had a terrific junior season in 2017 backed by a very solid defense,” Topalian said. “He will be challenged this. Austin will be under pressure all year.”

Miller’s help will come from defenders Zane Drebus and Eric Scott.

Drebus earned first team All-CVC honors last fall and Scott switched to defense last season.

“Zane is a top CVC defender and will have to lead our extremely inexperienced team in 2018,” Topalian said. “Eric switched to defense in the 2017 season and played admirably down the stretch. He will have to take on a lot of added responsibility this year given our youth and lack of a bench.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.