Skip to content

Plenty of talent and experience in new-look Redhounds

Aug. 13—After a dominant run that led them to win four of the past five 13th Region championships, the Corbin Redhounds are in a bit of a transitional season after losing 10 players from last year’s 16-win team.

The Redhounds will lose 10 of their 11 starters from a year ago, including Jose Torres who was one of the best players in the entire state. But, don’t expect this team to have much of a dropoff when it comes time to lace them up. Armando Cima’s team may look different this year, but there is still talent and experience left on that roster.

“We lost the majority of our starting team. It is difficult, but we are returning a junior- and senior-heavy team. We have some experience coming back with some kids who earned a lot of time last year,” said Cima. “The good thing about having a strong program is that you get in a situation where you can play a lot of players sometimes and we have been able to do that the past few years. These kids have experience playing together. They’re a good group of players.”

Headlining this year’s senior class is returning starter Gabe Cima, who has been a strong player for the program the past few seasons. Gabe Cima scored 10 goals and had 11 assists a year ago for the Redhounds, and will have to take on more responsibility this season as a team leader.

“It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Gabe will be a go-to player for us this year and he will have to take on more responsibility, as all of our seniors will have to do,” said Cima. “He has been that type of player for us the past couple of years. He will have a little bit of a different role this year and carry more on his shoulders.”

Joining Cima in the senior class will be Brendon Barajas, Aden Cima, Noah Giles, Dalton Grega, Austin Ooten, Sheel Patel, and Seth Steely. All of these players will be relied upon to lead the way for this Corbin squad. While they have not had to take on that role in the past, Cima is confident they are ready to lead in 2022.

“Brendon will be a key player for us and has been a starter in the backline for the past four years. Sheel Patel and Aden Cima will take on more responsibility. They’ll be leaders for us,” said Cima. “Austin Ooten, Seth Steely, Dalton Grega, and Noah Giles are experienced players and have been working hard and focused. This is a good group of seniors. Most of them have played club soccer throughout their career. They have the experience to be leaders for us.”

A signature for Cima’s squads the past few seasons has been their willingness to play some of the best teams in the state in order to prepare for a postseason run. Even in a year of transition, Cima has not backed down from this belief, and this new batch of Redhounds will face off against some stiff competition early on in the year.

The trio of Frederick Douglass, Bryan Station, and Henry Clay will start their season off, before playing Greenwood, George Rogers Clark, Madison Central, and Ryle later in the season.

Cima said he knows his team will face some obstacles early on, but he thinks it will only make them better in the end.

“When you have a good program, you play strong teams and you want to play at the same level at which those teams play. When you lose 10 kids, you can’t just take a step back and stop playing those good teams, and we didn’t do that,” said Cima. “We will take some lumps trying to get kids minutes who maybe didn’t get a lot of varsity time in the junior class. We’ll have to dip down into the sophomores and freshmen to play this year, too. It’ll be a learning curve in the first half of the season, but we won’t back off.”

Perhaps the reason Cima is so confident is because this current squad has been marked by their extremely hard work ethic so far in the preseason.

“They are already one of the hardest working teams I have ever had,” said Cima. “I don’t compare teams. Last year’s team is no longer Corbin. This year’s team is Corbin, and we have to be the best team that we can be. They work extremely hard. Our job isn’t to play like teams from the past, it is to find a way to play our best together and I think we will do that.”