Boys Soccer: Young players to watch

We at the Daily Times cherish our tradition of the All-Delco teams, providing closure and a recap of the best performances of each and every high school season. But there are performances and performers that can’t be captured in the scant few first- and second-team positions that are reserved for the elite of the area.

It’s no surprise that it takes a bit of time to reach those heights, as shown by the veteran composition of the boys and girls soccer All-Delco teams. Often left out in the cold are young players whose better days are certainly ahead of them.

So to rectify that, let’s take a look at those young players who impressed this season and may be populating the All-Delco teams of tomorrow. Think of it as an unofficial All-Delco for the young players. Time for the guys.

(Note: This selection is just a smattering of some of the young players that stood out to me this season. It’s not meant to be the be-all and end-all list. “Young player” is considered to be sophomores and freshmen.)

Jon Mathis, Bonner-Prendergast: The sophomore came to the Friars’ aid on several occasions this season with highlight-reel saves. He’s not the tallest goalkeeper, but he has excellent instincts and showed an outstanding command of a defense that was comprised mostly of upperclassmen.

Jude Morgan, Penncrest: Young defenders are few and far between, but the sophomore earned All-Central League honorable mention this season. He was one of the Lions’ best players this season, holding his own against more physically imposing attackers.

Brima Kormoh, Penn Wood: Just a sophomore , Kormoh was a major cog in the starting lineup for the Del Val champions. With the graduation of defensive captain Teddy Akoi, look for Kormoh to assume more responsibility next season.

Kyle Dutch, Interboro: While not the most physically imposing player, the freshman didn’t seem out of place as a starter for the Bucs. With the likes of Dominic Franchetti, Fisher Sikorsky and Roberto Sanchez all back next year, Dutch and company should have ample opportunity to shine.

Michael Hinckley, Episcopal Academy: Along with classmate Aaron Bogle, Hinckley became a staple in the Churchmen’s midfield as just a sophomore. He’s supremely talented and has a very good feel for the game; time should allow him to wed his technical ability with more physical growth.

Patricio Medina, Ridley: Medina’s four goals tied him for the team lead on a Green Raiders’ squad that was no stranger to finding the back of the net. We’ll see how a sophomore-laden team that includes talented players like Esteban Munoz and Arthur Weah develops in the years to come.

Sean O’Connell, Bonner-Prendergast: The sophomore looked at home among bigger and more veteran midfielders for the Friars. Though he played mostly in a holding capacity, we’ll see how much he may be deployed in attack next season with the graduation of top scorers Bliss Harris, Trey Mason and Chris Goggin.

Shane McBride/Tucker McBride, Haverford School: The wingers only accounted for two goals between them, but their vital wide play helped open the gaps and lay the foundation for many of 2012 Player of the Year Brett Campbell’s goals. With an obvious void at center forward as well as opportunities in the midfield opening, it will be interesting to see where the twins fit next season.

Nick Janelli, Springfield: Janelli scored five goals, over a quarter of the Cougars’ production, in his freshman campaign. He’s a very skilled technical player that will be among the cornerstones of a Springfield team moving forward. While many of the Central League squads are similarly dependent on senior contributions as Springfield, few return a talent with the type of varsity experience as Janelli.

Auston Trusty, Penncrest: Trusty has the build of a freshman, but he’ll have to mature quickly for a team losing well over half of its goal production to graduation. In the absence of Mike Swantek and Carlos Sierra next season, Trusty (four goals) will be called upon to provide much of the attacking impetus.

Kelvin Paye, Upper Darby: The speedy freshman came up from JV to score two late-season goals and was just inches away from being sprung for a couple more in Upper Darby’s playoff loss to Pennsbury. His maturation into a featured target-man should be fun to watch.

Connor Bradley, Haverford School: Another impressive young player in a usually senior-laden squad, Bradley started his scholastic career with two goals on opening day and had four in his first five games to help the Fords as Campbell got going. His total of seven goals on the season, second on the team, indicates he may be ready to take the role of featured scorer vacated by Campbell.

Hunter Dyson, Marple Newtown: The development of the six-man strong freshman class that was essentially thrown into the fire at short-handed Marple is one of the more interesting storylines to watch. Leading the way for a group that also features George Lambritios and Rocco Mesoraca (three goals each) is Dyson, who found the back of the net seven times in an injury-hit campaign.

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One thought on “Boys Soccer: Young players to watch

  1. I am proud to say that Jon Mathis is my grandson. I am surprised that you don’t consider 6 ft. 2 inches as being tall for a sophomore. Well, just wait, his two older brothers were 6 ft. 5 inches before they graduated from Bonner. As an added note, Jon is the son of Jack Mathis who played on the Bonner basketball team in 1984 and nephew of Jill Lewis who was the pitcher on the Interboro High School Softball Team from 1991-94. Thank you so much for your coverage of Bonner’s Soccer team and Jon.
    Kate Lewis

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