How will Shepard’s soccer team fill the void left by the graduation of All-Area performer Tommy Eyer?
That’s a question Eyer’s older brother will have to answer.
Tim Eyer, a Shepard alum who played collegiate soccer at William Penn University in Iowa, is the Astros’ new coach.
He takes over a team that underachieved a bit in 2012, finishing 11-11 and fourth in the South Suburban Red.
Despite the graduation of Tommy, Tim inherits a good amount of talent, as eight starters return.
Senior forward Ivan Magana scored 11 goals and had two assists last season while junior midfielder Evan Madrigal provided four goals and six assists as a sophomore.
“For this team to be successful, we will need to identify our strengths and weaknesses as a team and individually in order to dictate the style and flow of each game,” Tim Eyer said. “If we do that, we can be successful.”
Shepard began the season with a 2-2 tie against neighborhood rival Chicago Christian before playing in the Windy City Ram Classic, a 32-team tournament hosted by Reavis and the Chicago Fire.
The Astros dropped their first two games of the tournament, falling 3-1 to Cristo Rey and 4-1 to Homewood-Flossmoor.
Eyer, though, picked up his first win at the helm of the Astros when Shepard won its final game of the event, rolling past St. Rita 5-0 on Sept. 3. Magana led the way with a hat trick.
Shepard will also be counting on seniors Colm McGhee, a midfielder; and Will Somerfield, a forward. Sophomore midfielder Osbaldo Suarez and freshman forwards Michael Iturbe and Michael Kazmarczyk are expected to add to the offense’s firepower.
The Astros kick off conference play in the South Suburban Red on Sept. 16 with a big home match against Reavis before traveling to Oak Lawn on Sept. 17 and hosting Argo on Sept. 19.
“At the moment, we have a pretty good idea of who we are and what we can become,” Tim Eyer said. “Now everyone from the coaches down to the players must buy in and work together with great focus and intensity.”