2016-17 Season Outlook
The Trolls start the 2016 season with a fresh outlook under the direction new head coach Eric Salley. Salley came on board at Trinity last spring and began the process of implementing his plan for the program and laying the ground work for the fall season.
“My vision for the program is to create an environment where everyone involved in the program, starting with me, gives relentless effort and possesses a competitive attitude,” commented Salley. “If we can build that foundation, I am certain we will experience success.”
Salley will be integrating the players from last year’s squad, which finished 2-16 overall, with some new athletes. The goal is to utilize the talent to its fullest and to maximize the skills that are already in place. The focus is on getting better every day and measuring success one practice at a time.
“We will not focus on the game results or our 18-game season, but will concentrate on winning every practice and measuring our success on how we perform each day,” said Salley.
Salley will be working with a varsity roster of 22 players. Of those athletes, 13 are returners from last season and an additional three have been a part of the program before or were on the junior varsity team. The six new players consist of four incoming freshmen and two transfer students.
“We have a large group of returners and a significant senior class,” said Salley. “They provide leadership and have a strong sense of unity and dedication to the program. We will rely on their experience this season.”
One proven veteran on the team is senior forward Mauricio Salgado (Wauconda, Illinois). Salgado, who earned second-team all-conference honors last season, is the leading returning scorer with seven goals and one assist in 2015. He has great vision on the field and will be the team’s “go-to” person.
Joining Salgado in the forward position are returning juniors Jared Mulder (Delevan, Wisconsin) and Abe Wierda (Zeeland, Michigan). They have experience, are solid contributors, and will be a part of the offensive strike. In addition, the team adds scoring depth with senior Chris Paepke (Brookfield, Wisconsin) and sophomores Javier Contreras (Chicago, Illinois) and Jake DeRuiter (Pella, Iowa).
Coach Salley looks to shore up the defensive and will rely heavily on the experience and leadership of seniors Cole Boender (Grandville, Michigan) and Gabe Fennema (Tucson, Arizona). Boender is a team captain and a leader in both word and action. His hard work will help set the tone for the defense as well as the rest of the field. Fennema, who was hampered by injury last year, brings experience into goal where he has served as a starting goalkeeper in each of the past three seasons.
The defensive line also has plenty of other experience and leadership to call on with a group of four seniors. Alex Medina (Merrionette Park, Illinois), who medically red-shirted last season, was a part of the line-up in the three previous seasons. The other seniors are in their second season with the Trolls after transferring in last year with two years of junior college experience. Jose Zepulveda (Chicago, Illinois) is one of the team’s most skilled defenders, Santana Caicedo (Miami, Florida) was a part of the starting line-up a year ago, and Osvaldo Castanon (Chicago, Illinois) started in nine games in 2015.
Adding depth to the defense is a mixture of returning and new underclassmen. Sophomore Robert Oostindie (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will be the back-up goalkeeper. He gained experience last year on the junior varsity squad and also played in three varsity matches. Sophomore Noah Miller (Caledonia, Michigan) was a part of the defensive line last season. New to the team is Jacob Heyboer (Jenison, Michigan), a junior transfer from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, and freshmen Daniel Walters (Zeeland, Michigan) and Luke Dykstra (Tulare, California).
The midfield will rely on some returning and some new talent. Junior Tyler VanElst (Wyoming, Michigan) brings experience and leadership as a starter last season. Junior Getenet Timmermans (Grand Rapids, Michigan), who sat out the 2015 season, was a factor on the 2014 squad with six goals and one assist. He will provide an additional scoring threat. Freshman Davi Simoes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is very technically sound and will be a significant contributor in his first collegiate season.
In addition, sophomore Kris Kirchhoff (Frankfort, Illinois), who played the 2014 season at the University of Dubuque, is comfortable in the middle and will be called on for ball possession. Freshman Gabriel Soler (Sao Paulo, Brazil) provides depth to the wing position.
The Trolls will open their season with two road weekend trips. They start in Georgia on August 18-19 with games against Point University and Warner University (FL) and follow with a weekend in Michigan at Andrews University and Aquinas College. The team’s home opener is on September 3 against Benedictine University. Trinity starts their 12-game conference schedule on September 17 at Judson University and from that point on, with the exception to an October 5 game with Moody Bible Institute, will face CCAC opponents. The conference tournament will start on November 4.