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Area prep soccer players battle for good cause

November 25, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

North vs. South.

Maryland vs. Pennsylvania.

The Herald-Mail vs. The Public Opinion (Chambersburg's area newspaper).

All this in one boys soccer game? Sounds larger than life, huh?

Monday's first Four Diamonds All-Star Game at Waynesboro's Rip Engle Stadium is also about saving lives. All the proceeds go to the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Fund.

That's what prompted Waynesboro Indians coach Steve Tanner to organize the game. His 17-year-old son, Zach - a Herald-Mail All-Area first-team midfielder as a junior last year - was diagnosed with testicular cancer in August and sidelined all fall in the midst of chemotherapy treatments.

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"I often thought about (an all-star game)," said Tanner. "We're right across the border, and I thought it would be fun. If we can have some fun and raise money for a cause, doing something for someone else ... it gave me the extra oomph to go out and get it started."

The All-Washington County seniors will represent The Herald-Mail's Maryland team. They are: Boonsboro's Sean Beyard, Mike Sullivan and Zach Bowers; Clear Spring's Josh Barnhart; North Hagerstown's Ryan Flurie, Mike Wagner and Devin Baer; St. Maria Goretti's Steve Costello, Jay Gill and David Savino; Smithsburg's Sean Hunt, Scott Hutzell, Stephen Kurz, David McDougal and Brian Downey; South Hagerstown's Andrew Shadrach and Emens Rho; St. James' Alexander Smith and Williamsport's Ryan Martin.

The team will be coached by Williamsport's Stan Stouffer, North's Glen Singer and St. James' Chris Downs.

"We're just going to sub players in," said Stouffer. "We're going to play as a team using individual skills."

"It's good for the kids," he said. "And the best thing about it is the proceeds are going to cancer."

It also sets the scene for cross-state neighbors to finally meet.

"You always wonder, being where we're at geographically, how you'd do if you matched up against Maryland teams," said James Buchanan coach Eric Guyer, who will guide The Public Opinion's Pennsylvania team. "Generally, we don't get the opportunity to cross the state line and play each other. I'm looking forward to it. It's nice for the area."

"We're always looking over the border and thinking," said Tanner. "There's definitely a little Pennsylvania-Maryland rivalry."

The Public Opinion's all-stars are: James Buchanan's Matt Myers and Peter Dell, Chambersburg's Mike Hepner and Ryan Plyer, Greencastle's Tyler Mowen and Dustin Horst, McConnellsburg's Jordan Ott and Josh Huston, Waynesboro's Andrew Eshleman and John Weber, Big Spring's Gregg Ellerman and Michael Owens, Cumberland Valley Christian's Dan Gunnell and Jerry Snyder, Fannett-Metal's Chad Briggs and Tony Hampton, Forbes Road's Ezra Beaton, Shalom's Simon Henry and Shippensburg's Matt Gerlach.

Game time is at 7 p.m. Monday. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

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