It may be the most ferocious district in the Buckeye state.
The Aurora boys soccer team can take some blame for that, of course.
The kicking brigade that makes its home on West Pioneer Trail is a major reason why the Kent district has been considered for that lofty distinction.
At the same time, though, the district owns this menacing reputation due to a flock of other loaded squads.
If the Greenmen want to capture their second district championship in three years, they will most likely have to conquer teams such as perennial area powers Revere, Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and Pepper Pike Orange.
Aurora fourth-year head coach Jason Bibza, on the other hand, isn’t the least bit apprehensive about those possible future encounters.
He’ll gleefully instruct his fearless Greenmen to stand firm.
"We’re hoping to make a run," said Bibza, who is 39-14-6 at Aurora.
The Greenmen lost 13 seniors, including several starters from last year’s squad that finished 11-6-1 overall and 4-2 in the Suburban League American Conference.
Sounds awfully familiar to the beginning of last season, doesn’t it?
Aurora saw 12 seniors graduate when it ruled the vaunted Kent district in 2017. That team wound up advancing to the Division II state semifinals.
Unfortunately, the Greenmen couldn’t provide an encore for their majestic play last fall. Nonetheless, Aurora certainly wasn’t a slouch. It won’t be this year either.
"We have a number of quality players we can slot in the game," Bibza said. "They’re a fun, spirited group."
The midfield will be led by senior Alex Bibza and junior Ben Wilson. Both upperclassmen plan to anchor the middle of the field.
"Our center midfield is where we are strongest," Coach Bibza said.
Another center midfielder is Bryson Pozniak, a sophomore who saw quality minutes as a freshman.
The Greenmen’s three most accomplished forwards are senior Ben Gavie, junior Jimmy Miller and sophomore Zach Geier.
The defense will be led by seniors Hugo Krondorfer, Oscar Mejia and junior Mason Bizjak.
Also guarding the goal will be outside backs Sam Schreck (senior), Hayden Hall (junior) and Matt Studer (sophomore).
Juniors Sean Fritinger and Cameron Mullin will get plenty of opportunities to score at the forward spots. Junior Ethan Hoff is expected to be the starting goalkeeper.
Aurora also is looking forward to having defender Lukas Evans marking opponents down the road. Evans is currently dealing with an injury.
The assistant coaches are Andy Straight, Christian Adamo and Matt Burgess. Zach Curtis and Frank Teriaca are volunteer coaches.
The Greenmen plan to utilize a 4-3-3 formation that hopes to get behind the opposing defense as much as possible.
That task won’t be easy. As always, the American Conference won’t allow anyone to relax when the games begin.
Here’s why: The conference features the Minutemen, who were the 2018 Division II runners-up, and traditional Division I powerhouse Copley.
The other conference squads are fairly decent, as well.
"Kent Roosevelt may have the best striker in the conference," Coach Bibza said. "Revere is strong and Copley is usually the strongest team overall in the conference.
"We’re good enough to be in that conversation. We just have to control the ball through our short passing game."
The Greenmen are scheduled to open their 2019 season at Willoughby South Friday at 7 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.