After saying goodbye to the most decorated class in program history, Park Hill South won’t need to start over. The Panthers will have a new coach.
Chris Farmer takes over for longtime coach Joe Toigo, and he inherits a roster filled with experience coming off back-to-back playoff appearances.
A trio of all-state picks return after helping Park Hill South to a third appearance in the playoff in four years. Jacob Wicks, a senior fullback, won Suburban Conference Red Division defender of the year honors and joined two-time pick Seth Hudson on the all-state list.
In addition, senior forward Tyler Pisoni returns after making the all-state team with a team-high 22 goals to go with 11 assists, giving him a team-best 55 points. The midfield boasts Ryan DiBernardo, Turner Hall, Josh Wood and Daniel Geary — all with significant experience. DiBernardo made the honorable mention all-state list last year with nine goals and 13 assists — second on the team.
Only three seniors started a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Rockhurst.
However, midfielder Carson Cavitt-Wells, goalkeeper Evan Morrow and Hudson were all two-time all-state picks who were instrumental in helping Park Hill South set records for goals scored in a season (112) and fewest goals conceded (11). The Panthers finished 24-4 and ranked No. 10 in the final Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association poll.
Eight seniors total were lost from last year, a group that accrued an 88-21 career record — the most wins for any class in program history.
In addition to Wicks, the defensive back line should include senior Noah Anderson, while senior Noah Brizendine could see more time in goal after playing sparingly behind Morrow last season. Nylo Clarke, a senior, provides a speedy option in the attack after a solid junior campaign.