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Throughout the spring and summer, local soccer prodigy Alex Shinsky had hinted that he would return to play for West York his senior season. Back in April, the former U.S. U-17 national team midfielder put the odds at 70-30 in favor of him returning.

Now we know the answer: Shinsky will indeed play for the Bulldogs and new head coach Brett Maxwell this fall.

"He's obviously a fantastic player," said Maxwell, who also coaches the West York girls' soccer team. "He's still coming back from injury so he's not 100 percent yet. Even him at 60 or 70 percent is still pretty good."

Shinsky was an all-state pick as a freshman at West York, before spending the next two years living and training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. IMG serves as a short of home base for USA soccer's development program.

Shinsky played for the U.S. in the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria last fall, and is rated as the top high school soccer prospect in the country by topdrawersoccer.com. He plans to play at Maryland next fall.

Shinsky is still recovering from January surgery to repair a torn left meniscus, but his presence alone should cement West York -- the defending YAIAA Division II champion -- as one of the top teams in the area.

"He actually helped us out a little bit with the girls team last spring," Maxwell said. "He'd given me the impression then that he'd be playing. I was pretty sure at the time that he was going to play. Then he was actually able to work with us a bit at the end of the summer.

"He played with all the seniors when they were freshman. Some of the other guys he's grown up with."

Shinsky has been enrolled at West York since January. Maxwell said he is leaning toward playing the 5-foot-8 senior in central midfield, though he could shift Shinsky out wide at times to get him more space.

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