Alleman Pioneers Coach: Randy Bollman (3rd season) 2012: 8-12-1, 1-3-1 Western Big 6; lost to Princeton, 5-0, in Class 1A regional final Season opener: Friday vs. Quincy, 6 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Emma Taylor (D), Jessica Tucker (D); Jrs.: Sydney Johnson (D), Maggie Murphy (M), Kevan O'Hanlon (M), Mary Kim Tadda (M); Sophs.: Olivia Gonzalez (M), Ellie Mitton (D), Andria Sierra (F) Other notables: Sr.: Macy Hoskins (GK); Fr.: Megan Erickson (D), Jordan Polito (M/F), Katie Lohse (D), Emily Bollman (M/F) Bollman's view: "We are bringing back a lot of experience from last year while adding several quality players to the mix. We will show improvement again this year during regular season and postseason."
Geneseo Maple Leafs Coach: Ian Kline (5th season) 2012: 19-2-1, 9-1 Northern Illinois Big 12; lost to Morton, 2-1, in Class 2A sectional semifinal Season opener: March 19 vs. Galesburg, 6 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Mallory Wirth (M), Danni Manna (M), Kylie Lembke (D), Rachel Morton (F); Jrs.: Heather Setser (M), Kylie Gerhardt (M), Darci Dietrich (GK); Soph.: Abby Wilebski (D) Other notables: Jr.: Kaylie Piekos (M); Soph.: Hannah Pace (F) Kline's view: "Our players are eager to learn and play at their highest level. They will gain experience with the understanding that with each game, they will learn to play as a cohesive group with a high soccer IQ."
Moline Maroons Coach: Rick Sanchez (17th season) 2012: 15-7, 4-1 Big 6; lost to Normal Community, 3-1, in Class 3A regional final Season opener: Saturday at Normal Community, 12:30 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Kelsi Smith (F), Aubrey Foulk (M), Rachel McGuire (M), Bri Hughes (M/F), Alison Linden (M/F), Emily Knight (D); Jrs.: Rachel Holt (GK), Tara Wright (GK), Megan Geever (D); Sophs.: Jordin Wilson (D), Amber Maland (M/D), Sarah Hillbloom (F), Kaliah Dothard (D) Other notables: Jrs.: Hannah Navarette (M/F), Cassie Shetler (M); Soph.: Madison Lindbloom (D/M); Fr.: Jamie Althiser (F/M), Katie Stewart (F/M) Sanchez's view: "We feel pretty comfortable with the group we have coming back. We have a pretty good blend of experienced players as well as newcomers that we feel will be contributors this season."
Orion-Sherrard Coach: Rick Cline (8th season) 2012: 14-4-2; lost to Princeton, 7-0, in Class 1A regional semifinal Season opener: Saturday vs. Spring Valley Hall, 2:30 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Cassidy Clark (GK), Alex Driscoll (D), Becky Kosek (M/F), Sydney Early (D), Laura Hamilton (M), Malerie West (F/M), Alicia Sierer (F), Katie Garrity (D); Jrs.: Lexy Larson (M), Baillie McCunn (M), Molly Adams (M) Other notables: Jr.: Rachel Newman (M); Sophs.: Sarah Hanson (D/M), Emily Ferry (M), Tara Gambon (M), Madison Goodley (F/M), Isabelle Ausdal (M) Cline's view: "This group has the potential to be very good. This is a real nice group of girls who are really growing in the game, and I'm looking forward to a fun and successful season."
Rock Island Rocks Coach: Conan Dalton (6th season) 2012: 3-14-1, 0-4-1; lost to Dunlap, 3-1, in Class 2A regional semifinal Season opener: March 25 vs. Princeton, 6:30 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Maggie Williams (GK); Jrs.: Krissy Francis (D), Abbi Wieland (D), Izzi Wieland (M), Isabel Vallejo (M), Kaylee Lindburg (M) Other notables: Sr.: Taylor Thornton (M); Jrs.: Kaitlyn Young (M), Mackenzie Leatherman (F), Adriana Blanco (D); Fr.: Annika Knudsen (M) Dalton's view: "We're going to be better this year because this is a very hard-working group with great attitudes. They spent a lot of the time in the offseason working at getting better."
United Township Panthers Coach: Phil Weaver (18th season) 2012: 13-10, 3-2 Big 6; lost to Geneseo, 3-0, in Class 2A regional final Season opener: Tuesday at Machesney Park Harlem, 6 p.m. Returning starters: Srs.: Laura Burrill (GK), Mariela Esparza (D), Alora Esparza (M), Katie Johnson (D), Kyleigh McLaughlin (F) Other notables: Srs.: Jessi Tapia (D), Tajia Coleman (F), Miranda Fallon (M); Sophs.: Merriyah Myers (M), Fatima Munos (M) Weaver's view: "I'd like to see us challenge for Western Big 6, regional and sectional championships this season. There's a lot of talent on the squad. How quickly they come together will be the determining factor."
Today is Saturday, March 8, the 67th day of 2014. There are 298 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The price of board for single gentlemen occupying rooms in Davenport hotels has been raised to $10 per week. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Dr. J.W. Stewart was elected president of the Rock Island County Bible Society. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. I.O. Nothstein, Rock Island, was named president of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Twin Cities. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Athel Young, wife of Chic Young, who draws the internationally famous "Blondie" comic strip, has been visiting her mother, Mrs. John Miller, in Rock Island for three weeks. The Youngs' infant son accompanied his mother. 1964 -- 50 years ago: 750 students from 30 northern Illinois high schools will take part in the Class D state finals music contest to be held next Saturday on the Augustana College campus. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A near capacity crowd shook the rafters at Wharton field House in Moline Tuesday night. When the decibel level returned to normal, Alleman's Pioneers had pulled out a 54-49 victory over the Orion Chargers. The win advanced Alleman into the Elite Eight for the first time in 25 years.