LONG CREEK - The 2003 version of the Long Creek High School soccer team will have a new look with Scott Zarnegar taking over as head coach.
Zarnegar said he played soccer as a youth but has never coached before; however, his father was a soccer coach and his brother played on a team which went to the national championship match.
"His team finished second in the 16-year-old division, and he later played college soccer for the University of North Carolina," Zarnegar said. "I call him from time to time when I need help organizing drills."
The Mountaineers return five players from last year's team including seniors Travis Brown and Kyle Brush, along with junior Ben Corley.
Also returning are sophomores James Norris and Craig Hunt.
Filling out the Long Creek roster are a number of foreign exchange students, including Freddy Meyer from Germany, Fredrik Musa from Sweden and Gabriel Valdez from Bolivia.
Panupan Anegsunankul from Cambodia is also on the roster, along with New Zealand transplant Jackson Bull who is in his second year as a Long Creek student.
Sophomore "homegrown" players Tyler Cramer and Casey Witt are also on the Mountaineer squad for the first time.
"The team is shaping up and starting to come along," Zarnegar said. "We have the basics down and now we are working on communication and ball control. The players will need to communicate and talk to one another on the field if we want to be successful this year. So far, we've been looking pretty strong in practice. With the small number of players, we are going to have to stay injury-free and make sure we can keep everyone eligible."
Long Creek opens the season on Friday, Sept. 26, hosting Ukiah in a 1 p.m. match.