Trout Lake and Horizon Christian are adjusting to roster variations in different ways early in this 2021 fall boys soccer season.

Trout Lake, with a roster of 17 players — including a big freshman turnout of eight — is one third into its 11-player season. The Mustangs, under the guidance of long-time Coach Timmy Waller, sport a 2-3-1 record. Trout Lake is playing in the 11-player division of the 3A/2A/1A Special District 7 league where it is 1-1. The team also is reducing its lineup to play against 8-player teams, as well, in order to get in more matches.

The Mustangs opened district matches Sept. 20 with a 2-0 loss at Faith Bible in Hillsboro but rebounded three days later with a 7-0 win at Willamette Valley Christian in Keizer.

District 7 is split into two divisions, 11-player, and 8-player. The latter alignment includes Horizon Christian, which is now up to 12 players on its roster but will continue to compete with the smaller player division.

Horizon Coach Andrew Stenberg said the transition to 8-player soccer is a work in progress. “Adjusting from 11-man soccer to 8-man soccer has been difficult, as none of the coaching staff have any experience in coaching a smaller team and formations, as well as playing on a smaller field,” he said. “Our first game is going to be a really good learning experience for us to see what can work and what can’t.”

Those comments came before Horizon had taken the field against Portland’s Columbia Christian in the team’s opener. From the match result, it appears the Hawks have adjusted just fine. Horizon defeated Columbia, 4-1, on the road Sept. 20.

Two seniors lead Horizon. “Our key players we are going to rely on most heavily are two of our seniors, goalkeeper Josh Rogers and midfielder Luke Hardin,” Stenberg said. “We’ve had the privilege of coaching these athletes all four years now and they know what we like to see as coaches, as well as push themselves and their teammates to get better on the pitch.”

Horizon’s other senior is Josiah Sohal, a first-year player, who had one of the four Hawk goals against Columbia.

Horizon continued its eight-match regular season schedule on Monday at home against Southwest Christian (0-0-1). Horizon hosts Life Christian (0-1) on Thursday and is at Portland’s Mannahouse Christian (1-4-1) on Oct. 4

Trout Lake was scheduled to host Central Christian (1-1) Monday and Corbett (0-4-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Mustang roster includes two seniors, Sean Rubesh and Josh Keller, who are the team captains along with junior Landon Heberling.