Quite a bit of pressure was resting on Jake Boehme's shoulders entering McConnellsburg's boys soccer season.
He returned as the leading scorer on a team with high offensive expectations.
"I definitely felt some of that," the senior midfielder said. "I know in the preseason, the coaches looked to me to be a leader, pick everyone up and make sure we're really focusing during practice and over the summer."
Boehme has lived up to those expectations, though. Just this week, he racked up four goals and four assists in a 2-0 week for the Spartans, who remain undefeated. Boehme is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.
There are several good reasons for Boehme's success so far this season.
"The big thing with Jake was that he had a really good offseason," Spartan coach Cory Houck said. "He worked harder than probably anybody else in the district this offseason. All summer longer, he was texting me about working out at the gym, organizing rec ball."
Boehme also found some extra motivation that led to a three-goal, two-assist performance against Conemaugh Township on Saturday.
"Well, I saw when (Public Opinion) released the leading scorers, and I was disappointed at where I was ranked (tied for seventh)," Boehme said. "I told myself I needed to do a little bit better and score whenever I had the opportunity."
There's one more big piece to Boehme's success – his teammates.
"Him, Patrick (Keefer) and Ethan Barclay connect a good bit at practice, and it just seems to carry over to game time as well," Houck said. "They're so comfortable with each other; they can read each other's minds on the playing field."
Four of Boehme's goals have been assisted by Keefer, and Boehme has helped on four of Keefer's scores.
"Patrick is one of my best friends, and we are probably the most competitive on the team," Boehme said. "Coach always splits us up in practice, and we actually had to take laps the other day because we got into a little scuffle.
"We're so competitive, but that's what boosts us. We want to do better than the other, but when we're both producing, I don't know if there is a team that can stop us."
Sport: Boys soccer
Size: 5-foot-8, 150 pounds
Parents: John and Christy Boehme
Other interests: Jake also plays basketball for the Spartans and is on a club soccer team in Chambersburg.
Favorite team: Michigan State Spartans
Athlete most admired: Cristiano Ronaldo
Three people he'd like to have dinner with: George Washington, Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein
Statistics: Boehme lifted the Spartans to a 2-0 week behind four goals and four assists ... This included a three-goal, two-assist performance against Conemaugh Township