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YAIAA preview: Boys' soccer

Division I could be the top-heavy portion in the YAIAA this fall, but teams such as Susquehannock, York Suburban and Biglerville could have something to say about it. The Warriors return almost their entire lineup for new coach Brett Maxwell, the former West York coach who took on the Susquehannock girls' program last season.

Defending YAIAA tournament champion South Western should still be in good shape. The same goes for runner-up Dallastown, which won Division I. Here's a look at the upcoming boys' soccer season:


1. Central York

2. South Western

3. Susquehannock

4. Dallastown

5. Biglerville


Erik Rishel, Central York, Sr., midfielder

Scott Hess, South Western, Sr., midfielder

Koby Griest, Biglerville, Sr., midfielder

Ryan Chilcoat, Susquehannock, Sr., defender

Giorge Dalaperas, Dallastown, Sr., forward


Jim Reinalda returned as the head coach Dallastown (17-5, 9-1) a year ago and found his team in the YAIAA title game after winning Division I. The squad had lost momentum entering the season. Among the losses, Bryce Cregan, a senior this year who’s committed to the University of Akron, had left to play with his PA Classics travel team and a U17 US National team. Dallastown still found a way without Cregan.

If the Wildcats are to find another way this year, they will do it with five returning starters – strong players, in the eyes of Reinalda, but with young players nonetheless.

Returning all-star Ben Doorn is back for his senior year. He played center mid and back a year ago. Other returning starters include senior forward Edward Bills, senior goalie Tim Miller and junior midfielder Luke Nelson. Whether Cregan rejoins the Wildcats is remained to be seen, but they do have one confirmed addition from the soccer academy ranks in senior forward Giorge Dalaperas.

Other returning contributors, all juniors, are Ryan Fitz and John Schmitt on the defense and midfielder Noah Brockway.

● With Division I co-player of the year Erik Rishel back, Central York (15-7, 8-2) should be poised for a run. And Rishel, a senior midfielder, isn’t the only reason. The Panthers return seven starters from a year ago. Andrew Sauers, a senior back who made the All-YAIAA team, is back. So is honorable mention all-league senior Kyle Smith, a forward. Senior forward Royce Clemens and sophomore midfielder Mitchell Crane also are among those who should make an impact in coach Frank Lenno’s lineup.

● Scott Hess’ corner kick set up the winning goal for South Western (14-8, 6-4) in last year’s YAIAA championship game victory against Dallastown. Having the senior back should help the Mustangs, who lost standout Justin Zinneman to graduation. Junior midfielder Andrew Slater and senior defender Quin Meyer also are back.

So is the Mustangs' keeper, senior Adam Alton. Eight starters, in all, return from last year's team that rode a wave of momentum to the league title.

Scott Rissler is used to shutouts. He can get them on the pitching mound or the soccer pitch. The junior at Red Lion (11-7-1, 5-5) had eight of them last season in goal and earned All-YAIAA honors for the feat. He won’t be alone, as the Lions look to improve on their .500 mark in the league. Honorable mention all-league defender Zach Neff, a senior, is one of seven returning starters. So is senior defender Jordan Clever. The combination on that side of the field could make Red Lion the toughest to score on this fall.

In transition, the Lions return midfielders Dan Longnecker, a senior, and Brandon Haynes, a sophomore. They also have senior midfielder/attacker Evan Miller at their disposal on offense.

Marcos Garcia earned All-YAIAA honorable mention from Division I coaches last year as a freshman at New Oxford (4-11, 1-8).

● With returning all-star Chase Flickinger, a junior midfielder, Spring Grove (3-13, 1-9) is poised to improve. The Rockets have seven starters back in their lineup, including sophomore Darin Gordon, an honorable mention All-YAIAA defender, and a handful of three-year starters. Flickinger is among that bunch, as are fellow juniors Jake Guinn (midfielder) and Andrew Fenstermacher (defender), plus senior forward Ben Joel. Sophomore defender Liam Flaherty broke into the starting 11 as a freshman, adding to the Rockets’ arsenal for 2013. Coach Matt Spahr expects a team that will be strong in the midfield. However, the Rockets’ scoring and goalkeeping are question marks. The goalie job was up for grabs heading into fall tryouts.


Susquehannock (8-9-1, 7-5) returns 10 of 11 starters to go with a new coach for the 2013 campaign. That new coach is Brett Maxwell, who took over the girls’ program a year ago after a successful stint at West York.

Maxwell will have two All-YAIAA players in senior midfielder Nathan Bilbie and senior defender Ryan Chilcoat. Seniors Tim Wilson, a midfielder, and Dan Snyder, a defender, earned honorable mention all-league consideration as juniors. The defense also will be bolstered by junior Clay Ayres, giving a solid footing for prospective goalkeepers Nathan Houser and Mike Jones.

The midfield also will include returning starters Alex Rebich and Duncan Mitchell.

● Having graduated eight players and seven starters from last year’s squad, York Suburban (18-2, 12-0) has a task in front of it. Coach Tony Kowalewski’s squad lost Division II player of the year Tanner Martin among those players to graduation, but he returns senior defender and two-year starter Kyle Bulgarelli. Also, senior David Brubaker gets his shot in goal after waiting for an opportunity behind All-YAIAA keeper Ryan Myers graduated.

Other returning starters include senior forward Jon Allen, who had 10 goals last year, junior forward/midfielder Andrei Kin and junior defender Ethan Dean. Junior midfielder Michael Peck moves up Kowalewski’s depth chart and into a starting role.

West York (12-8, 9-3) returns four starters from a team that won double-digit games and lost to Central York in the first round of districts. Among those players back are a pair of midfielders and defenders: senior Ethan Clark and junior Brett Strickler in the midfield, plus freshman Eddie Rodriguez and senior Kendall Eppley in the defensive backfield. Sophomore Darian McCauley is expected to step into goalkeeping duties this fall for the Bulldogs and second-year head coach Dan Klinedinst.

Dover (7-8, 5-7) loses an all-star in Cristian Bonilla, but brings back Brendan Warren.

Eastern York (4-8, 4-8) will return a mix of five starters to go with a few newcomers as it looks to improve in Division II. The starters back include seniors Devon Heiland and Andrew Wells, plus juniors Wyatt Leik, Damian McKinsey and Brandon Oppong-Antwi. Seniors Hunter Artman and Grum Kebede, a key member of the Golden Knights’ basketball team, also could make an impact for coach Keenan Schaeffer’s club. Overall the Knights should be able to score and control the ball near midfield, but there are defensive question marks.

Northeastern (2-14, 2-10) should improve with Matt Bentz back in its lineup. Last season, he doubled as a member of the Bobcats football team. Elsewhere, a change in the sidelines is in order. Athletic director Bryan Stephens returns to a head coaching role he once held.

Kennard-Dale (3-11, 2-8) graduated two all-stars, Paul Ambrose and Jason Cooper. The Rams graduated a high number of starters in addition to those two. Multisport players NateMikolinis and Joe Zeller also were among the departures because of graduation.


Biglerville (17-7-1, 8-1-1) gets senior Koby Griest back for one more season. Junior goalkeeper Gerry Lua earned All-YAIAA honorable mention last fall. Midfielder Armando Rojo is back for his senior year, while striker/defender Matt Cellucci will be just a junior. The Canners established scoring took a hit with the graduation of two standouts and captains in Nate Fox and Harley Weigle.

Senior midfielder Caleb Taylor and senior striker Mario Ortega also are back for the state semifinalists from a year ago.

● Things will look different at York Catholic (11-3-2, 8-0-2), where coach Milner Sosa’s son, Chris, has graduated. A year ago, Chris Sosa led the Fighting Irish to the Division IV title with 13 goals and 16 assists and was a four-year starter. The Irish lost a senior-laden squad, including three other graduated All-YAIAA performers. Goalie Luca Grippi is back, however. The junior will enter his third season as the Irish starting keeper.

● Unlike the Division III frontrunners, Fairfield (12-6-2, 6-3-1) will need a new goalkeeper. The Green Knights enjoyed a season of contention with all-star Anders Nordberg in net. He has graduated, opening the spot for someone new. Senior Devin Wilt returns after earning all-league honorable mention.

Littlestown (4-9, 4-6) graduated all-star defender Zekiel Alejandrez, but returns Connor Nace. Bermudian Springs (1-12-1, 1-9) moves forward without a two-time all-star in Leo Arreguin. The Thunderbolts, like Delone Catholic (1-12, 1-9), hope to improve after disappointing 2012 seasons.


● Susquehannock vs. West York: Warriors coach Brett Maxwell will first see his former program from West York on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Susquehannock. The two sides close the regular season Thursday, Oct. 10 at West York. Susquehannock also has an intriguing interdivisional home match Tuesday, Sept. 10 against defending YAIAA tournament champ South Western.

● Central York vs. South Western: Two favorites in Division I will close the regular season Thursday, Oct. 10 at South Western. They first meet Thursday, Sept. 19 at Central.

Dallastown vs. South Western: The rematches from last year’s tournament final take place Thursday, Sept. 12 at South Western and Thursday, Oct. 3 at Dallastown. The second game ends a tough four-game stretch for the Wildcats, who play host to Central on Sept. 26, York Suburban the next day and follow at Red Lion the following Tuesday, Oct. 1.

● YAIAA tournament: Quarterfinal play is Saturday, Oct. 15. The semifinals follow that Tuesday, and the championship is Thursday, Oct. 17.