Jason Bershatsky
Jason Bershatsky
JASON BERSHATSKY

Mercersburg

Why he was chosen: Mercersburg has had girls soccer since 1991 and the 11 victories this fall is the highest win total yet The Blue Storm avenged an earlier loss to St. John's Catholic Prep by beating the Vikings 4-1 to win the Independent Parochial School League championship.

Background: A native of Greenwich, Conn., Bershatsky played soccer in high school and later graduated from Bucknell University He taught for 2 years at West Nottingham (Md.) and helped start the girls soccer program there He's been at Mercersburg since 1997, and he's been an assistant coach in wrestling since then, as well as JV coach and varsity assistant in boys soccer until he took over the girls position in 2008.

On IPSL title: "When we lost to St. John's, we outplayed them, but they made some some really nice shots. We figured we'd see them again. When we beat Lawrenceville, it gave us the confidence we needed to beat St. John's."

On playing in the tough Mid-Atlantic Prep League: "Hill just won the PAISSA title (state independent schools) and they had two losses and a tie in the MAPL. It's always a real challenge to play those teams. The other MAPL schools are in an area where club soccer is really strong and they play year-round."

On success: "Last year was my fourth year and you kind of feel like it's finally your program. But we had three starters go out with season-ending injuries (and finished 7-8). Those were good players and they were all back this year. We tried to beef up our schedule a little to get ready for the MAPL. We did beat Lawrenceville, and even though we lost to Hill, we out-shot them."

On his staff: "(Assistant) Scott (Stenger) was great; we were really lucky to have him at Mercersburg. And Tom Rahauser comes out to the practices. Plus (boys coach) Quentin (McDowell) is a great guy to get ideas from. Scott added a lot of energy to the team and he's always so positive. He and I express ourselves differently, but we think the same in soccer terms."

What others say: "Our slogan this year was, 'Step Up,' and coach Bershatsky stayed on us about that," Blue Storm forward Paige Wolny said. "He said he didn't want us to have any regrets about not working hard and he made us step up as individuals and as a team."