Looking to repeat

2018 area high school boys soccer preview

From Mirror reports

Altoona and Hollidaysburg both claimed District 6 championships in their respective classifications last year.

In order to duplicate their success from a year ago, each team will rely on six returning starters to set the pace.

The difference between the two programs is that the Mountain Lions welcome back juniors Alex Berardinelli and Brady Freiwald who were first team Mirror all-stars a last year and sophomore Austin Kravetz, who was a honorable mention selection.

Meanwhile, the Golden Tigers were a senior-led team that returns no Mirror all-stars.

Other Mirror first teamers that are back for another season are Tyrone junior Corey Johnston, Bedford senior Wes Lippincott and Everett senior Nathaniel Maxwell.

Honorable mention selections that will play are Bedford senior Lance Dague and sophomore Chase DeLong, Everett junior Brady Foor, Huntingdon senior Brady Hawkins and Chestnut Ridge senior Andrew Miller and junior Evan Rose.

Nick Wanyo has the task of starting the soccer program at Penn Cambria. The Panthers have 35 players out which should give them plenty of different options to begin their first season of play.

David Paronish is the only other coach in his first year with a program as he will captain the Bishop Carroll program.

Blair County Christian is hoping for a big year as it returns all 11 of its starters from last year’s 15-3 squad.

Meanwhile, Bedford, Philipsburg-Osceola and Tyrone also return a lot of experienced starters as all three teams have nine coming back. Huntingdon brings back eight to start its campaign.

Here is a capsule look at the teams in the Mirror coverage area:

Altoona

Coach: Dave McCarter, third season

Career record: 26-10-2

Last year’s record: 14-4-2

Conference: None

Returning starters: Senior: Isaac Townsend; Juniors: Alex Berardinelli, Tyson Carter, Brady Freiwald, Wesley Young; Sophomore: Bailey Musselman.

Other returners: Juniors: Jeff Barr, Kevin Bartley, Rusty Focht, Major Greaser, Zachary Kowalski, Tyler Long, Jake Schmidhamer, Sean Stuttard; Sophomores: Graham Black, Brennen Dugan, Chad Flarend, Logan Haugh, Austin Kravetz, Chad Reighard, Lucas Vrabel.

Newcomers: Freshmen: Braden Cole, Ian Cox, Brayden Crawford, Gavin Lamborn, Ethan Little, John Schmidhamer, Will Young.

Strengths: “We have a strong core of experienced players that are young but battle tested.”

Concerns: “After coming off a season where you win a district title, we know teams are gunning for us so we need to maintain our edge and consistency.”

Overall outlook: “We try to build confidence through the work we put in. As long as we work hard and give full effort, we hope to compete for another district title.”

Assistant coaches: Doug Sipes, Jeremy Young, Travis Young

Junior high coach: Pat McDowell

Bedford

Coach: Barrett Schrock, ninth season

Career record: 109-59-8

Last year’s record: 11-8-1

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Seniors: Kyle Figueiredo, Jordan Dull, Dodge Bebout, Wesley Lippincott, Lance Dague, Luke Dague; Sophomores: David Gresh, Chris Klinger, Chase DeLong.

Other returners: Seniors: Corban LaMarche, Zach Kachman; Junior: Logan LaMarche.

Newcomers: Seniors: Caleb Beidle, Conrad Brett; Junior: Logan LaMarche; Sophomores: Nate Hoover, Braden Ford, Lane Browell, Josh Diehl, Michael Huffman; Freshmen: Bryson Lingenfelter, Cameron Hagenbuch, Isaac Arnold, Chase Holler, Brylee Ahlfeld, Colby Barnhouse, Bowen LaMarche.

Strengths: “Experience and leadership. We have a lot of returning players from last year’s squad.”

Concerns: Depth

Overall outlook: “I expect our team to have a heightened, competitive spirit and to play with a controlled intensity. As always, we want to hold onto the ball and out-possess our opponent. We expect to compete for the District 5 title and continue our season into November.”

Assistant coaches: Daniel Ford, Chris Turner, Steve Kachman, Hughie Hershberger

Junior high coaches: Paul Kendall, Scott Myers

Bishop Carroll

Coach: David Paronish, first season

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Strengths: “Our offense’s ability to generate goals will keep us in any game.”

Concerns: “We have a small team this year that will make for a shallow bench.”

Overall outlook: “I’m optimistic and excited for my first season as coach. We have a strong team of boys who have the potential to carry us far.”

Assistant coach: Eli Norman

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Nathan Pownall, first season

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Seniors: Adam Carey, Brady Haun, Seth Bender, Ryne Talko, Zack Yingling; Juniors: Bradyn Yahner.

Newcomers: Sophomores: Evan Wondersee, Songmian Wang, Hjalte Skov; Freshmen: Deven Wyandt, Seth Kirby, Dane Van Horn, Jacob Siford, Joel Craig.

Strengths: “I believe we will have a strong defense. The offense is showing good potential, and the midfielders are developing a good understanding of how they fit into offensive and defensive transitions.”

Concerns: “I am concerned about injuries as we have a very small bench. Injuries to key players will be difficult to adjust to.”

Overall outlook: “I am unfamiliar with this league, so I am not sure how we will compare to other teams or previous seasons. I am working to develop and coach a team strategy that focuses on fundamental skills and sound team principals. I want my players to be excellent teammates who build up younger or weaker players as they build their own skills. Everyone can contribute to team success. It is up to me to show them how. Thank you for trusting me with your sons. I am looking forward to this season with them.”

Assistant coaches: Jeff Talko, Paul Yingling

Blair County Christian

Coach: Matt Osborn, sixth season

Last year’s record: 15-3

Conference: Allegheny Christian Athletic Association Western Division

Returning starters: Seniors: Ben LaMagna, Landen Barnes; Juniors: Jonathon Hight, Micah Nicodemus, Hudson Dull; Freshmen: Connor Dull, Davis Dull, Aaron Winters, Colden Snyder, Ben Hartman, Joel Nicodemus.

Other returners: Junior: Ethan Carn; Freshmen: Kort Sease, Jacob Carn, Caleb Butterbaugh; Eighth graders: Jared Nicodemus, Jared Gaston, Tim Claar.

Newcomers: Senior: J.T. Tetter; Junior: Garrett Ebersole; Seventh grader: Caedmon Dull.

Strengths: “We have our whole starting 11 returning. We have a lot of experience and good knowledge of the game.”

Concerns: “Not having a really deep, quality bench.”

Overall outlook: “We are very excited about this year’s team and the next few years as we have a great core of the team returning for quite some time.”

Assistant coaches: Chaz Dull, Andrew Fries

Cambria Heights

Coach: Adam Strasser, third season

Career record: 27-12

Last year’s record: 12-7

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Seniors: Brett Eckenrode, Brad Lieb, Clayton Nelen, Hunter Work.

Other returners: Seniors: Jason Dobransky, Ryan Peles, Alex Weakland; Juniors: Avery Farabaugh, Adam Carpinello; Sophomores: Steven Dalby, Matthew Davis, Addam Dimmick, Jimmy Ertter, Mason St. Clair, Seth Conaway, Garrett Dumm, Daniel Hudak, Luke Lamb, Tanner Maurer, Loegan Smeal.

Newcomers: Seniors: Seth Gallaher, Zach Galinis, Nathan Lamb; Sophomore: Nathan McCombie; Freshmen: Hunter Hayes, Nathan Nihart, Landon Smeal.

Strengths: “We return four starters and nine lettermen from the 2017 season. The experience of the reserve players will give our team options to replace seven starters from last season. Additionally, we have new players who have played extremely well in camp. The team has worked hard each day to improve and gel. Their work ethic and determination will help our team improve on a daily basis.”

Concerns: “A main concern is inexperience in starting roles. We are replacing multiple multi-year starters from last season’s playoff team. Although this is a concern, our players have worked to the best of their abilities to replace key losses from last season.”

Overall outlook: “The 2018 Highlanders will be a team with a lot of new faces in new positions. The team has a hard-working mentality, which will help us improve every day to compete in a very tough Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.”

Assistant coaches: Bob Diamond, Mike Strasser, Ken Kerchenske

Junior high coaches: Matt Weimert, Brandy Kline

Central

Coach: Randy Trexler, seventh season

Last year’s record: 5-11-1

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Seniors: Noah Clapper, Logan Bowers; Juniors: Collin Rupert, Brant Kensinger; Sophomores: Ashton Campbell, Luke Trexler.

Other returners: Senior: Dane Cross.

Newcomers: Seniors: Jonathan Trexler, Brandon Ziegler; Sophomores: Alex Bowman, Braden Kensinger; Freshmen: Zach Gahagan, Andrew Peck, Andrew Laufle, Ruger Truman.

Strengths: “Plenty of soccer skills and knowledge across the team to give them an edge. Speed on the wings and forward positions.”

Concerns: “Having lost a senior-loaded defensive line from last year, this year’s back line will be young. No room for injuries.”

Overall outlook: “Last year’s intensity still exists, and the addition of Braden Kensinger and Zach Gahagan could be enough to reach that winning record. Senior Noah Clapper is expected to develop his leadership skills.”

Assistant coaches: None

Junior high coach: Mike Zolnoski, Jesse Theys

Central Cambria

Coach: Jason Zaffuto, second season

Career record: 7-11

Last year’s record: 7-11

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Seniors: Dalton Baker, Jarrod Garzarelli, Nick Vasil; Juniors: Dylan Devlin, Ryan Hunt, Ben Young; Sophomore: Cory Roberts.

Other returners: Seniors: Colby Jones, Duncan Lambie, Ryan Meckley; Junior: Troy Shope; Sophomores: Garrett Heeney, Cameron Lasinsky; John Letizia, Kevin Orange, Isaac Polchito, Hunter Springer.

Newcomers: Senior: Dontae O’Neal; Freshmen: Zach Ford, Gavin Kolar, Ethan Kubat, Brock Martin, Adam McGlynn, Brayden Mennett, Alek Nikolishen, Jamison O’Brien.

Strengths: “Team unity and chemistry, defense and depth.”

Concerns: “Youth and inexperience.”

Overall outlook: “Our outlook for this season is good overall. We have a few key returning starters both on offense and defense who are our team leaders. While we will have a fair amount of younger players on the field this year, those kids are great athletes and I don’t see that affecting us in a negative way. Once they settle in to their position and learn our strategy, I see us having a successful season.”

Assistant coach: Bryce Croyle

Chestnut Ridge

Coach: Dave Van Meter, sixth season

Career record: 58-32-3

Last year’s record: 6-9-1

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Seniors: Ian Anderson, Kyle Parrish, Andrew Miller; Junior: Evan Rose; Sophomore: Jonah Zembower.

Other returners: Senior: Brady Blackburn; Junior: Masen Osman; Sophomores: Trevor Harrison, Kyhler Price.

Newcomers: Senior: Luke Slagenweit; Junior: Ben Smith; Sophomore: Silas Barr; Freshmen: Dylan Gibbner, Jack Moyer, Gavyn Walter.

Strengths: “Leaders who have been playing year-round soccer, and the teams overall determination to learn the game and become a better team.”

Concerns: “We’re mostly a young team with some new players who haven’t played soccer before. Also, the switch from the Sideling Hill League to the Laurel Highlands.”

Overall outlook: “We look for our team to understand the game of soccer and how it’s supposed to be played. We hope to make playoffs and take it one game at a time.”

Assistant coaches: Dan Crist, James Anderson, Corey Amick, Dylan Williams, Greg Gibbner

Junior high coaches: Andrew Ross, Caleb Whisker

Hollidaysburg

Coach: Craig Shale, 14th season

Career record: 189-84-7

Last year’s record: 12-9

Conference: None

Returning starters: Senior: Grant Glass; Juniors: Ethan Pinter, Isaac Helsel, Drew Desort, Jacob Roach; Sophomore: Evan Shale.

Other returners: Seniors: Nate Hibbs, Jacob Hollingshead; Juniors: James Roberts, Jesse Clayton, Adam Naugle.

Newcomers: Senior: Gage Paul; Sophomores: Caleb Jandora, Jackson DelGiudice, Andrew Wolford; Freshmen: Braden Callahan, Ryan Frank.

Strengths: “Hopefully returning players that saw varsity playing time last season and are ready to step up this season. Godo team chemistry.”

Concerns: “Goals. We lost our top three goal scorers.”

Overall outlook: “We are looking forward to another good season. If returning players play to their potential, then we should be in the running for a third straight District 6 title.”

Assistant coach: Don Tantius

Junior high coach: Paulo Neto

Huntingdon

Coach: Phil Hawkins, seventh season

Career record: 53-45-8

Last year’s record: 8-7-4

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Seniors: Camden Knode, Richard Widman, River Terry; Juniors: Isaac Snare, Jake Tanner, Alex Stratton, Brady Hawkins, Zac Monica.

Other returners: Seniors: Noah Bender, Lucas Frederick, Connor Heath, Lucas Himes; Juniors: Andrew Buonaccorsi, Andrew Cooper, Josh Heffner, Jack Hosler, Isaiah House, Bruce Perow, Marcus Stratton, Duncan Wentzel; Sophomores: Taran Pelkey, Ethan Varner.

Newcomers: Freshmen: James Buonaccorsi, Alec Copper, Trevor Culbertson, Eli Dunwoody, Jacob Everhart, John Lender, Holden McBrayer, Thomas Ritchey, Aaron Rothstein, Ryan States, Jacob Sunderland, Oscar Tuten, Cameron Wiser, Nathan Wiser.

Strengths: “We have very good numbers. Although, generally a young team, we have a lot of talent and soccer experience across all four classes. We have a great core of returning starters at each position who have shown great leadership. Competition across all positions for playing time should be intense leading to spirited training sessions. Team chemistry looks very good.”

Concerns: “Rebuilding a defensive unit that was outstanding last Fall. As always, we have put together a tough non-conference schedule to challenge the guys and prepare for the postseason. The Mountain League will be as competitive as always.”

Overall outlook: “We should be a tough contender in the Mountain League. We have moved down from 3A to 2A for this Fall. While a move down to 2A will not make the postseason any easier, we believe we will be a tough team to play against come playoff time. We like the overall soccer knowledge and experience of this group.”

Assistant coaches: Jim Roney, Jason Morris, Neil Pelkey

Junior high coach: Ben Young

Northern Bedford

Coach: Marcus Yeatts, 19th season

Last year’s record: 1-14

Conference: Sideling Hill League

Returning starters: Juniors: Hunter Corle, Eyziak Cottle; Sophomores: Eli Grimes, Curtis Clark.

Other returners: Juniors: Isaac Garman, Chris Bowman; Sophomores: Tristin Pepple, Micah Smith.

Newcomers: Freshmen: Cameron Clark, Logan Greeley, Nate Helsel, Reyan Imler, Clay McIlnay, Levi Wiedemann.

Strengths: “The team’s attitude has been great, and the kids are working hard.”

Concerns: “We don’t have any seniors, and our team is very young. We also don’t have much depth.”

Overall outlook: “We hope to improve over the course of the season and be playing good soccer by the end as a springboard into next season.”

Assistant coaches: Caleb Musselman, Trenton Barnes

Junior high coaches: Brandon Horton, Jonas Bequeath

Penn Cambria

Coach: Nick Wanyo, first season

Last year’s record: First-year program

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Strengths: “We have a great group of players that are dedicated and excited to play this year. We have speed, skill, endurance and enthusiasm to play. We have two really good goalies that are fighting for the starting keeper position. We also have about 35 players coming out for soccer, which gives us a variety of skills to work with.”

Concerns: “This is our first year as a program. We are also a very young team. We have about seven seniors, but the bulk of our players are freshmen and sophomores. With a new program and young players, they have not had much time playing together. We need to try to create team chemistry in a very short amount of time.”

Overall outlook: “We are very excited to get a Penn Cambria soccer program started. We have dedicated parents and players that have been putting in a lot of work since January. Even though it is our first year, we are setting high expectations for the upcoming year.”

Assistant coach: Joe Landi

Philipsburg-Osceola

Coach: Shawn Inlow, 11th season

Career record: 91-89-14

Last year’s record: 0-15

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Seniors: James Tew, Jaylen Johnson; Juniors: Aaron Parks, Kyle Godin, Matthew Farrell; Sophomores: Caleb Pellerite, Tommy Pelesky, Gregg Paladina, Nick Mostyn.

Other returners: Juniors: Adante Vargas, Justin Mulhollem, Dalton Kristofits, Connor Blasko, Matt Thomas; Sophomore: Will Rishel.

Newcomers: Freshmen: Shae Bainey, Billy Bumbarger, Ashton Crownover, Dakota Fetteroff, Cade Grace, Alex Godin, Garrett Gray, Jake Kosut, Parker Matson, Caleb Quick, Nicko Sypa, Rayne Terrier.

Strengths: Youth and speed

Concerns: Youth

Overall outlook: “The Mounties failed in every aspect of the game in 2017 while blooding young players in key starting roles. The team’s winter tournament and spring travel seasons, however, were very positive with the local club teams taking first place in PA West at U19 and U14, and second in U13. So, a rebound season is expected.”

Assistant coaches: Neal Parks, Bill Mostyn

Junior high coach: Mike Sypa

Tyrone

Coach: Nick Miller, seventh season

Career record: 52-54-8

Last year’s record: 6-13-2

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Seniors: Nicholas Kosko, Andrew Pearson, Owen Shaulis; Juniors: Corey Johnston, Corbin Nale, Daniel Parker, Alex Roberts, Keegan Raabe; Sophomore: Alex Taylor.

Other returners: Seniors: Caden Brooks, Skyler McCaulley; Juniors: Nicholas DelBaggio, Nathan Walk, Nicholas Vasbinder; Sophomores: Leighton Ahlert, Brendan Andrews, Abe Black, Kelton Raabe, Aiden Taylor, Mason Thomas, Andrew Tornatore.

Newcomers: None

Strengths: “We have an extremely skilled and experienced team, including one of the highest scorers in Central Pennsylvania. Most importantly, this team plays like a team and moves the ball well.”

Concerns: “We didn’t have any incoming freshmen this year, so our numbers are markedly lower this season.”

Overall outlook: “We have an older, more experienced team this year, and we plan to do some damage in the Mountain League.”

Assistant coach: Alex Bartlett

Junior high coaches: Eric Oliver and Jay Stewart

COMMENTS