The Bismarck Demons are the team to beat in boy’s soccer, but with many players gone from last year’s championship team, repeating as champs could prove to be a challenge for a new head coach.
Three out of the last five years, Bismarck has ended the season with a trophy, but it’s been 23 years since they have pulled off a title as defending champs. Head Coach Ricardo Pierre-Louis knows that this season, it’s important to lean on that championship pedigree.
“The biggest thing is to be able to capitalize on the winning team,” says head coach Ricardo Pierre-Louis. “The returning players, like the seniors, the guys that have done well last year, is to be able to take them on and to be able to do the same thing with a few tweaks here and there to make it better.”
The Demons will have some tough opposition. Rivals in Century, who got passed them in a thrilling 4-3 win last week. The players know nothing comes easy with a repeat.
“It’s always tough to go out and defend it again the next year,” senior Edwin Rasidovic says. “But working hard, that’s every year, there’s no real secret to it. I mean, every single year our guys come out, and work hard, and work harder than everybody else, and that’s what wins.”
For Bismarck, it’s a younger squad, a team that has to fill some holes, especially upfront. Players like Mason Weigal will be one of the few seniors that will usher in the new wave of talent.
“I think our strength this year will be our back line and our mid field,” says senior Mason Weigal. “We lost Michael Mathews and some very good attackers from last season. But I think the younger guys can fill those gaps by the end of the year”
The key is getting off to a good start. With no nonconference games to iron out the wrinkles, every point matters, and the Demons know they have a target on their back.
“We fuel off of that stuff” Rasidovic says. “That’s our fuel. We always try to work hard and be the best. That’s how it is at Bismarck High and I think nothing will change this year honestly.”
Bismarck is on the road Tuesday against Williston…