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Season Preview: Bradshaw Mountain boys soccer regroups, albeit with green team
Prep Boys Soccer

Bradshaw Mountain’s Tryston Cohan (4) drives the ball along the endline as the Bears play the Prescott Badgers Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 in Prescott Valley. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, file)

Bradshaw Mountain’s Tryston Cohan (4) drives the ball along the endline as the Bears play the Prescott Badgers Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 in Prescott Valley. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, file)

Junior defensive midfielder Tryston Cohan can be blunt, but you’ve got to respect him for his honesty.

When asked about the Bradshaw Mountain boys soccer team’s prospects for the 2019-2020 season, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Arcadia in Phoenix, Cohan put it in simple terms.

The 2018-2019 All-Grand Canyon region Second Team selection expects the Bears, who qualified for the 4A state playoffs for the second time in three years in 2019, to be strong in the center of the field and on the left side of the attack and defensively.

But he isn’t promising a postseason qualification. He simply wants the Bears’ 19-player team to make strides as the campaign progresses.

“It will take dedication and effort,” Cohan added from practice this past week. “Honestly, I’m just trying to push the team. It takes each individual player to make a team.”

The Bears’ roster had a considerably different makeup in 2018-2019 than it does now. It was an experienced bunch that finished the regular season with a 6-5-1 record and a 3-3 mark in a competitive Grand Canyon region.

Bradshaw Mountain upset Arcadia, 4-3, in the state play-in round in early February, but it couldn’t handle second-seeded Tempe in the first round of the 16-team 4A tournament, losing 3-1.

This season, the Bears have 11 seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and a freshman on their roster, although they possess only a handful of veterans. Those veterans will be counted on to mentor the inexperienced players with the help of first-year coach Jim Workman.

“Our seniors and our defense are our strengths,” Workman said. “We need to get the young players up to speed with the junior and seniors.”

Workman hasn’t coached soccer for four years. He led a middle-school team with a roster of Glassford Hill, Bradshaw Mountain Middle and Liberty Traditional School boys to back-to-back championships. Afterwards, he had “kind of retired from coaching.”

Cohan, senior fullback Alan Pulido, junior goalie Shane Workman (Jim’s son) and senior fullback/defender Brian Ayala were among the Bears on those title teams in 2014 and 2015.

“I’ve known a lot of these boys since they were 9 and 10 years old,” Workman said.

Workman added that he expects his juniors and seniors to “pick it up” this winter. Senior defensive midfielder Dillon Harwood captains the Bears.

“The younger kids will be up front [in the attack],” Workman said. “We’ll get goals from the younger kids.”

Workman thinks Bradshaw Mountain “will do really well in region,” one which includes defending 4A state runner-up Prescott and 4A state semifinalist Flagstaff.

“Some Phoenix teams will give us trouble, but we will hold our own in the region,” Workman added. “I expect Prescott and Flagstaff will be a problem. Mingus is really good as well.”

Added Cohan, “I’m hoping for the best. Hopefully, we’ll do a little better than last year, with steady progress.”

Cohan said he likes playing for Workman.

“Obviously, it’s a different atmosphere,” Cohan added. “It’s nice to have a coach who listens to his players; it makes you want to play for him.”

Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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