Junior high boys soccer team enjoys another outstanding season
While it was a rough year for the Honesdale boys varsity soccer team, help is on the way as a talented group of junior high players recently put the finishing touches on an outstanding season.
Under the direction of veteran coaches Greg Adams and Pete Casazza, the young Hornets put up some genuinely staggering numbers en route to this year's Lackawanna League division championship.
“We could tell from the first few days of practice that there was a great deal o talent on this team,” Coach Adams said. “These boys are very athletic, fast and have a real desire to win.”
Coach Casazza was quick to agree, saying:
“Many of these kids play soccer all year round. They are very dedicated to the sport and to improving their individual skills. Our success the past two years has been due, in part, to that focus and commitment.”
All of these attributes combined to form a superb team that simply ran wild over its competition this fall. Honesdale opened its campaign with a decisive win over Lakeland and never looked back.
By the time the season was over, the Red & Black had piled up a dazzling overall record of 20-2-0. In addition, the local lads went 13-1 in Lackawanna League action, finishing all alone at the top of the standings.
“It was a great year,” said Coach Adams. “Coach Casazza and I are very fortunate to have been a part of their soccer journey. We wish them all continued success on the pitch.”
Honesdale was nothing less that a juggernaut this year in junior high boys soccer action.
The Hornets didn't just win, they won in dominating fashion nearly every time they stepped on the field.
All told, the Red & Black hammered home an eye-popping 106 goals while surrendering only 32.
Peter Kase was the ring leader on offense. A eighth grade midfielder, Kase terrorized enemy keepers to the tune of a team-high 21 goals.
“Peter is maybe the fastest kid I've ever seen,” Coach Adams said. “He has great foot skills. He's quick and smart. Peter brings a lot of experience to the pitch because he plays travel team soccer year round.”
Braden McLaughlin and Karter Kromko also put up sensational numbers on offense for Honesdale, finishing the season with 20 goals apiece. Both are eighth graders and each plays on the wing.
“Braden is a very athletic unselfish player who is a student of the game with a solid skill set,” said Coach Adams. “Karter has strong foot skills that created many scoring chances for him and his teammates.”
Max Mickel enjoyed an excellent season as well. A battle-tested eighth grader, Mickel was lauded by both coaches for his positive attitude and versatility.
“Max was a huge part of this team's success,” Coach Adams said. “He's a very tough physical athlete who controlled the midfield for us as well as any other position we asked of him.”
The lone blemish on Honesdale's regular season record this year came via a 5-2 loss on the road at perennial powerhouse Abington Heights.
It was a disappointing setback, but one that also became a key turning point in the campaign.
“We told the kids that if they wanted to win the league title, that road would have to go through Abington,” Coach Casazza said. “I think they got the message because it was a totally different story the next time we played.”
The Hornets and Comets squared off for the final time in late October. This one was a hard-fought, physical match that emphasized defense rather than high-octane offense.
When the dust finally cleared, Honesdale had emerged with a thrilling 1-0 victory. Kase scored the lone goal of the match, while the combination of keepers Nate Hugaboom and Kole Fries turned away every Abington attack.
“Our kids just played a great game,” Coach Adams said. “What a difference from the first time around. We were extremely proud of them.”
Combined with last year's output, Honesdale's eighth graders closed out their junior high careers with a league record of 26-2-0.
This year's team members include: Christian Krasniak, Nolan Duffy, TJ Martin, Braden McLaughlin, Nate Hugaboom, Karter Kromko, Aidan Davidson, Mason Wasman, Isaac Carmody.
Kole Fries, Peter Kase, Max Mickel, Joey Taraschuk, Peter Modrovsky, Jack Eisele, Gavin Bresset, Avery Ohliger, Julian Pons.
Cole Chesna, Nate Green, Joel Landry, Cody Kretschmer, Nick DeNoie, Maxx Wolfenberg, Steve Vitale, Brayden Sislo.