Senior midfielders Matt McDevitt, Lee Stephane and Brad Yori have Ridley prime for a postseason run.
The attention that Stephane -- originally from the Ivory Coast, located on the south coast of the western
bulge of Africa -- commands from his opponents often pays huge dividends for McDevitt, Yori and the
rest of his Green Raider mates.
"Lee gets frustrated from being double- and triple-teamed," said assistant coach Dave DeYulis. "But he understands that it frees up other guys to roam around, which ultimately benefits the team."
Hats off to Glen Mills head coach Michael Hendrick, whose Bulls battled to two victories and a tie against
Del Val League rival Penn Wood early in the season and, in doing so, surpassed last year’s win
total of zero. The Glen Mills program often finds itself starting over with new personnel each year.
"Having a brand-new team after going 0-17 is not a tough pill to swallow," Hendrick said, laughing.
"The good thing about having kids who’ve never played that much before is there are no bad habits
that need to be broken. We have a clean slate to work with, and it makes teaching the game a lot easier."
Marcell Bean, Randy Omess and Nicholas Nestuck (three goals each) and Diego Cintora and
Jwyanza Chito have emerged as leaders and risen to the challenge of facilitating the perpetual process of rebuilding the Battling Bulls.
"Now that we’ve tasted success, the kids are starting to believe in what we’re teaching them.
We’re learning to play strategic soccer -- passing back to our fullbacks and things of that
nature -- instead of just trying to outrun you with our athleticism."
In terms of achieving success, you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before ..
When teams square off against Strath Haven, Sun Valley, Haverford School and Marple Newtown
this fall, in addition to packing their first-aid kits, they should remember to bring a fire extinguisher
if they want to have any chance of winning.
Simply put: The feet of Karl Reddick, Justin McCall, Jordan Griffith and Bobby DeYoung are ablaze. Groundskeepers of Delco soccer fields should have their work cut out for them after these prolific
scorers shred up their turf.
To the goalies lining up opposite these players: Good luck. You may end up needing it.
Coaches, please be advised that you must call the results of your games, win or lose, into the Daily Times.
As a former athlete, I, too, have experienced the pain of being blown out from time to time, and I
understand the dejected feeling of not wanting to discuss it with anyone. But you’re only hurting your
players, who’ve worked too hard to go unrecognized, if you don’t phone in the scores. In the
case of sports, silence is never golden.
Springfield took its bumps early with an unforgiving nonleague schedule, which landed the Cougars --
who were sans the services of All-Delco sweeper Sean Harkins due to injury -- on the losing end of
four straight shutouts.
Now that Harkins is healthy and his teammates are a little more battle-tested, with contests against
the state powers located in West Chester (Henderson and East) under their belts, the sky is the
limit for the Cougars. This is especially true since first place in the Central League should be passed
around like a hot potato this season after Strath Haven, which bore losses to Lower Merion and
Downingtown West, and Penncrest have shown some vulnerability.
Couple that with the ascension of Ridley and Upper Darby, and scholastic soccer fans will
have one of the closest races for the league crown in recent years. There’s one theory in
sports that has withstood the test of time: Defense can keep any team in games, and
Springfield has plenty of it.
Please note that goals scored in sudden-death, penalty-kick fashion will not be counted for each
week’s scoring leaders. Upper Darby recently defeated Avon Grove on penalty kicks by Chandon
Singh, Wilson Barlee, Eri Sulollari and Malick Waggeh to break a 0-0 tie in the championship of the
Sun Valley Invitational Tournament.
However, they won’t be credited with goals ..just the win.
At Delco Christian, the Knights may be suffering a withdrawal symptom or two from the loss of
2003 Daily Times Player of the Year Kieran Keelan and his county-record 115 goals. Already,
Keelan is a major force (two goals in four games) in contributing to the success at Messiah
College, now ranked 13th in Division III.
Three weeks into the season, the Knights have two losses in the Southern Chester County League,
one less than their total from last year. Midfielders Tyler Ferrier and Martin Dell’Arciprete have performed
well in his absence, and Luke Patterson has been a citadel of defense between the pipes. However, it’s
unlikely that anyone associated with Delco Christian boys soccer will soon forget Keelan’s career.
To contact Mark Hostutler, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org