St. Andrew's Boys Soccer Reloads: Young Talent, Veteran Leadership Kick Soccer Hopes

By Nathan Dominitz/Special to Prep Sports Report | February 15, 2024

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After graduating 11 seniors, including nine starters who helped St. Andrew’s reach the GIAA state semifinals for the second consecutive season, the Lions boys soccer squad will rely on a lot of young players to step up. 

Then there’s a veteran in his first season on the Wilmington Island School’s team. Senior center midfielder Max Iezzi played his freshman season at Savannah Country Day, then played for Statesboro-based South Georgia Tormenta FC’s Academy and MLS Next youth teams. 

“With Tormenta, I think it was good I got that experience,” Iezzi said at the inaugural Optim Orthopedics/Prep Sports Report Soccer Media Day on Saturday, Feb. 3. “I’m looking to bring that high intensity and the high level of training that we had over to St. Andrew’s and, hopefully, implement that within our training and our team this year.’ 

The Lions will be missing graduates such as Thomas Hill, William Garguilo, Evan Wylly, and Gordon Standing, the Lions’ all-time goal scorer (71). 
“We have some great younger players and they’re going to fill some crucial roles on the team,” junior striker Sage Cahan said. “I think that’s exactly what we need for the team.” 

Senior center back Matt Licata would like to see the development of young players over the course of the season, “so we know this program’s going to be in good hands when we leave,” he said. 

“Even though we lost a lot of seniors last year, we have guys in the program who have seen how they’ve worked and the process and what it took to have success in the last couple of years,” Licata said. “Our senior leadership group this year is experienced and they understand what it takes to win games in our classification. We’re going to know how to handle our business.” 

St. Andrew’s went 6-5-1 last season and 2-1 in GIAA Class 3A/4A District 2, beating Lakeview Academy 3-0 before losing to Holy Spirit Prep 9-1 in the semifinals. Region rival Westminster Schools of Augusta captured the state title. 

A year earlier, the Lions went 12-3, 9-1 in the region, falling to Westminster in the semifinals as Holy Spirit Prep eventually won the state crown. 

“We have a pretty tough non-region schedule to help prep us for all of our region games, especially the Westminster game,” SAS coach Blake Seale said. “Communication has been key for us. We’re really hitting on that each and every practice: Communicate, communicate, communicate.” 


PHOTO Credit: Optim Orthopedics marketing Department

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The "Coach" Karl DeMasi has been teaching and coaching for the past 35 years on all levels of academia and athletics. One of his hobbies has been writing, announcing and talking about sports. DeMasi has been involved in the Savannah Area sports scene since 1995, and he created the high school magazine "The Prep Sports Report" in 2000. In 2010, the "Coach" started broadcasting The Karl DeMasi Sports Report. He's still going strong, broadcasting on Facebook live and Twitter live every Saturday morning. You gotta love it!

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