Eldorado's boys soccer team was hoping that a healthy Josh Cormier could team with returning Northeast League Most Valuable Player Rene Ardon this fall to provide a dangerous scoring tandem.
Cormier, who was hampered by a series of muscle pulls last season, is back and ready to go. But Ardon fell while running sprints at practice and will miss the start of the season with a broken left wrist.
"At least it happened at the beginning of the season, because if it happened in the middle of the season, it wouldn't be that good," Ardon said. "Maybe I'll just miss the first game or the second. But I'll be back."
When Ardon returns, he and Cormier should give the Sundevils a potent set of forwards.
Cormier said he's confident he can stay healthy this year because of extra work in the weight room during the offseason.
"It was something I didn't do last year," Cormier said. "My muscles are feeling a lot stronger, and I feel a lot quicker."
Eldorado coach Gerald Pentsil is excited to have a healthy Cormier.
"The kid, he can score some amazing goals," Pentsil said.
Cormier said he and Ardon work well together off the ball, and Pentsil said the duo's skills mesh well.
"Rene complements (Cormier) because Rene doesn't have the hard shot, but he's always around the goal," Pentsil said. "He's sort of that garbage player. Balls that are missed seem to drop to him."
Despite the strong offensive presence that he and Cormier are expected to provide, Ardon said Eldorado's strength is the defense, which returns All-Southern Nevada pick Jonathan Cabrera and All-Sunrise Region goalkeeper Alberto Alvarez.
"I think our defense is the tightest," Ardon said.
The Sundevils reached the Sunrise title game last season, losing to Silverado on penalty kicks. To make another run, they will need contributions from younger players set to replace six graduated starters.
"We're trying to make them feel comfortable, because we do need a couple of new kids," Cormier said. "So we're trying to make them feel comfortable and push them to their limits."
Cabrera said the older players have to help the young players get ready for the transition from junior varsity to varsity.
"We've just got to get them prepared, since it's a different pace," Cabrera said.
Cormier thinks this team can be just as good as last year's squad, if not better.
"We have better potential," Cormier said. "We work together as a unit. We don't have any superstars."
Ardon thinks humility might be the key.
"We can't get too confident," he said. "Because once you get confident, you lose."
Contact Prep Sports Editor Damon Seiters at email@example.com or 702-380-4587.