By MIKE DUPREZ
The 2022 high school soccer season is right around the corner and here are five players to watch.
Cameron Letterlough, sophomore, Asheboro — A star at the very start as a freshman, Letterlough scored 22 goals and had 11 assists. His goal total was second on a team that won the Mid-Piedmont Conference championship. He's also the top returning scorer and figures to be even more of a focal point on the offense as the Blue Comets seek to repeat as conference champions.
Collin Burgess, senior, Wheatmore — Burgess scored eight goals last season. That was second best on the team. The offense flowed almost completely around Jagur Williams, who scored 35 goals — a little over half the team’s total. Williams graduated, so that means Burgess could step in and pose more of an offensive threat for the Warriors, who are aiming to improve on a 9-9 record.
Danny Palma, junior, Uwharrie Charter — Palma led an outstanding Eagles squad with 22 goals as a sophomore. He also had eight assists. The Eagles were co-champions of the PAC-7 and reached the third round of the 1-A state playoffs. As they attempt to equal that or beyond in the 2022 season, Palma will play a big part.
Nick Galloway, senior, Wheatmore — The Warriors’ goalkeeper had a 2.053 goals against average in the 2021 season. He was active in the net, making 99 saves while facing 126 shots on goal. Galloway played in six games as a sophomore in 2020, compiling a 2.105 goals against average, so he’s consistent. It's always good to have a solid player in the net and Wheatmore has that in Galloway.
Steven Vences, senior, Southwestern Randolph — Vences led the Cougars with 12 goals last season. That total represented 44 percent of Southwestern Randolph’s goals. In one game in which he scored two goals, Vences was noted for his efforts off the ball, helping with the flow of the offense. The Cougars will be attempting to improve on a 4-13 record.