By Arwyn Rice

Pilot staff writer

The best offense is said to be a good defense.

If it's true, the Bruin's boys soccer's six returning senior starters, including the entire starting defense, should have an amazing offense this season.

Last year that defense made state quarter-finals, and coach Gabriel Anaya believes the team should make it at least that far this year.

Besides the defensive returnees, two forwards are back to anchor a solidly talented group of newcomers.

The team's experience and talent give team members confidence that the team will do well this year.

The team is also coming together as individuals.

andquot;We have good chemistry on this team,andquot; said senior Alan Freeman. andquot;We really work well together.andquot;

Freeman also feels comfortable with the team as it is configured, but expects a few changes later in the season as some younger or less experienced players develop.

Senior Gabe Anaya also likes the feeling he's getting from the team.

andquot;There's a strong sense of family,andquot; Gabe said. andquot;There is a feeling of respect among brothers.andquot;

Freeman and Gabe played for the U.S. team at the International Student Scholars Institute Down Under Sports competition over the summer.

The two Bruins went though a nomination process before being invited to travel to Australia for the event.

The pair bring the experience back to challenge their teammates to continue to improve on last year's success.

In preparation for a long season, the team runs, runs and runs some more.

andquot;They will be running for an hour every game,andquot; said Gabriel Anaya. andquot;They need to be ready to run all day.andquot;

When they're done running, they run some more in scrimmage for the remainder of practice.

According to Gabriel, the top three teams most years are North Bend, Pacific and the Bruins, and the boys are always up for those games.

Gabriel also expects South Umpqua to challenge the Bruins on the field this year.

The Bruins open the season at home against Phoenix High School at noon on Sept. 6.