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Boys' soccer: Male Athlete of the Week: Jonah Stains helps Shalom Christian to MDCC title

You can't ignore the 19 goals scored by Jonah Stains.

But the Shalom Christian junior striker would be much happier to point to his assist total (17) as an accomplishment this season.

His production in both of those areas was a major factor in the Flames producing a 15-4-1 record this fall, capped off by a 1-0 victory over Shenandoah Valley Christian in Saturday's Mason-Dixon Christian Conference boys soccer championship game.

Stains is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.

"Jonah is a great testament to the whole team concept of passing and distributing instead of just shooting," Shalom coach Chris Lehman said. "He thinks of passing to a teammate to get a better shot, which is why he had almost as many assists as goals."

The forward scored two goals in the Flames' three MDCC playoff games, and he had an assist in each of them, including on the game-winning goal by Tucker King in the final.

Stains said he worked on his shooting in the offseason – "The last two years I hit too many balls over the top and guys would yell that I kicked a field goal," he said – and did increase his goals total from 15 in 2014 to 19.

But his assist total spiraled up to 17 from just two last year.

"Honestly, I've always thought assists are as much fun as scoring a goal," Stains said. "It's nice to see the expression on a teammate's face when he scores. So anytime I get an opportunity to pass to an open guy, I will."

Lehman said, "Jonah does draw the defense's attention, and he was marked closely inside the box. But he made a lot of good passes, he scored on some headers and his long throw-ins were another weapon for us."

Stains said he felt the Flames were destined for a good season.

"I thought we had a pretty solid team coming in," he said. "But when we lost the first time to Shenandoah Valley (4-3), we realized we could beat them, and we did (2-1 and 1-0). We had confidence going into the final."

Now it's time for Stains to turn his attention to basketball, and the downtime was almost non-existent. The day after the MDCC final, the 6-foot-2 Stains was invited to participate in the Big 60 Showcase, a preseason event at Spooky Nook in Lancaster.

"I have been shooting around in the gym some mornings," he said, "but now it's time to concentrate on basketball."

Don't forget, you can get assists in that sport, too.

Sport: Soccer

Position: Striker

Grade: Junior

Height: 6-foot-2

Parents: Kendra and Brent Stains

Interests: Stains also plays basketball for the Flames.

Surprising fact: He takes lessons and is pretty good playing guitar.

Favorite soccer player: Lionel Messi

Favorite soccer team: Brazil

Statistics: During Shalom's playoff run to a Mason-Dixon Christian Conference championship, Stains had 2 goals and one assist in each of the 3 games ... For the season, he scored 19 times and 17 assisted on another 17 goals.