Vanaskie expects South to be in every game it plays

Quite bluntly, South Williamsport first-year coach Chris Vanaskie expects the Mounties to be competitive in every game this year. Given the success the team has had the last few seasons including last year, it’s not a stretch to expect that.

“If we give 100 percent all the time and never give up, then we will have a chance to win every game we play,” Vanaskie said.

After numerous years coaching at St. John Neumann with both the boys and girls programs, Vanaskie is at South Williamsport this year for his first year with the Mounties.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue to build a strong team at South Williamsport. South has been very consistent for a number of years under Mike Rodgers. He is a coach that I have a lot of respect for, so I was eager to inherit a program that I knew was in good shape and had strong character,” Vanaskie said. “Since there is already a good foundation in place, we’ll be able to focus on the soccer.”

The Mounties return plenty from last year, including Dean Seman, Aaron Bird, Tayge Molino and Brian Yaos, but Vanaskie noted younger players will also have to step up for the team to continue to have success.

“We’ll need younger players like Curtis Sauers and Caleb Snyder to step up and have breakout seasons,” Vanaskie said.

South Williamsport won 10 games last year and Vanaskie said the goal this year was to qualify again for the postseason.

And the Mounties weren’t the only area team from the HAC-III that got into the playoffs. Montoursville got into the postseason and lost in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals in a shootout with eventual district runner-up Midd-West.

Kevin Werkmeister expects Montoursville to be competitive and once again around the same record-wise.

“The last two years our record has been right around .500, we expect to be over .500 this year,” Werkmeister said. “Also the last two years, we lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year we plan on make it past the first round.”

The Warriors lost a key player in goalie Ben King, who is playing at Susquehanna.

“Losing Ben is a big blow for this team, but we have confidence in our new varsity goalie Ian Plankenhorn,” Werkmeister said. “We believe Ian will be able to fill Ben’s shoes well.”

Montoursville returns Seth Griggs, Alexander Bohlin, Nick Musto, Dominic Caputo and Angelo Silvagni, who were all contributors last year.

Hughesville lost to eventual state champion Lewisburg in last year’s playoffs, but the team took positive strides in qualifying for the postseason. And the Spartans, who won seven games in 2016, return two huge pieces to their offense from last year in Austin Lewis and Nick Sharayko.

“It’s rare to get one great offensive threat and we have two. And they feed off of each other and push each other during practice and that will lead to some great play this fall,” Hughesville coach Jim Dennis said. “Both have gone to elite camps this offseason to improve their game, and it shows.”

The Spartans also return two defenders in Evan Onufrak and Brody Heller and midfielders Justus Leighow and Blake Sherwood.

Warrior Run last year had a talented trio of attackers in Hunter Confair, Cody Rogers and Jordan Morrison, but just Morrison returns as the other two graduated. The team lost roughly 50 goals from last year in graduation, but Andy Bieber feels his team has plenty back.

“I feel that we have a more polished team with nine players returning who started on varsity last year at various times,” Bieber said. “We have a solid core defensively returning that will control the games until the offense finds its way.”

MONTOURSVILLE

Coach: Kevin Werkmeister

Assistants: Jesse Spaar, Ryan Hunter, Jared Summers

League: HAC-III

Classification: Class AA

Last year: 9-8-1 (8-4 HAC) (lost to Midd-West in shootout in District 4 Class AA quarterfinals)

Last playoff appearance: 2016

Roster: Seniors: Jonah ISaacson, Mason Mensinge,r Nick Musto, Seth Griggs. Juniors: Alexander Bohlin, Austin Norton, Dominic Caputo, Elijah Ward, Mason MacInnis. Sophomores: Alexander Kremer, Angelo Silvagni, Bodie Kaufman, Colin Gorini, Ian Plankenhorn, Jonathan Schaefer, Justice Wheeler, Luke Kirkpatrick, Tristian Shirk. Freshmen: Andrew Mayo, Michael Wise, Jacob Foster, Xavier Becker, Zach Baylor, Ian Foote.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT

Coach: Chris Vanaskie

Assistants: Adam Rubert, Manny Tsikitas

League: HAC-III

Classification: Class A

Last year: 10-9 (6-6 HAC) (lost to Millville in first round of District 4 Class A playoffs)

Last playoff appearance: 2016

Roster: Seniors: Aaron Bird, Jared Kelly, Shyler Kreitz, Dean Seman, Riley Shaffer, Jared Wheeland. Juniors: Dominic Caroway, Tayge Molino, Franklin Summerson, Brian Yoas. Sophomores: Jimmy Brokaw-Stealey, Nate Persun, Curtis Sauers, Mason Shatzer. Freshman: Brendon Bowman, Port Habalar, Zachary Hanisek, Riley Hockman, Ian Rhea, Caleb Snyder, Gage Zimmerman.

HUGHESVILLE

Coach: Jim Dennis

Assistants: Pete Larsen, Mark Pysher

League: HAC-III

Classification: Class AA

Last year: 7-12 (4- HAC) (lost to Lewisburg in first round of District 4 Class AA playoffs)

Last playoff appearance: 2016

Roster: Seniors: Evan Onufrak, Nick Sharayko. Juniors: Gavin Bassler, Isaiah Savage, Mason Lomison, Brody Heller, Brent Taylor, Steven Millheim, Dylan Taggart, Ben McGovern, Andrew Miller, Ryan Strimple. Sophomores: Spencer Thomas, Drew Bieber, Ethan Poust, Austin Sheatler, Justus Leighow, Ethan Strother, Austin Lewis, Blake Sherwood. Freshmen: Dylan Figels, Gabe Larsen, Brandon Moore, Jacob Rouhoff, Logan Burns, Jackson MIddleswarth, Ethan Jackson.

WARRIOR RUN

Coach: Andy Bieber

Assistants: Justin Yost, Schuyler Pontius

League: HAC-III

Classification: Class AA

Last year: 12-7 (10-2 HAC) (lost to Danville in District 4 Class AA quarterfinals)

Last playoff appearance: 2016

Roster: Seniors: Jordan Morrison, Kylan Kurtz, Kolbe Welliver, Keefer Goodspeed, David Myers, Wyatt Fisher, Trey Gresh, Andrew Shultz, Tucker Hays. Juniors: Alex Freerick, Ryan Neamand, Levi Kennel, Ausitn Soltesz, Ethan Whitmoyer. Sophomores: Logan Witmer, Keegan Jenkins, Tyrese Hazzoum, Ryan Singer, Sam Crawford, Zach Schaeffer, Ben Temple, Jared Emmert. Freshmen: Duncan Bender, Max Kennel, Noah Pick, Ryan Ranck, Logan Confer, Brendan Geiger, Hunter Rovenolt, Alex Hazzoum, Anderson Bieber, James Branthingham, Landan Kurtz, Kaden Majcher.

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