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County stars still in search of first win

November 14, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

If practice makes perfect, the Public Opinion's Pennsylvania boys soccer senior all-stars are the exceptions.

They're unbeaten in their four matchups with The Herald-Mail's Washington County senior all-stars at the annual Four Diamonds Senior All-Star Game.

Neither team's players ever practice together for the showcase.

"I don't think the style is that much different," said North Hagerstown coach Glen Singer, who directs The Herald-Mail team. "I think maybe their kids are just more familiar with each other."

Pennsylvania's only blemish was last year's 1-1 tie.

"At 0-3-1, we'd like to turn it around, if not this year, then next year," Singer said. "We're going to keep trying until we do."

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Washington County gets its next chance Wednesday. The fifth annual game begins at 7 p.m. at Waynesboro's Rip Engle Stadium.

The Herald-Mail team's lack of practice cannot really be used as an excuse. That its best players aren't seniors perhaps can be - this year.

"We had a lot of talented players in Washington County this year who weren't seniors," Singer said. "The majority of the all-county selections were nonseniors. We're having trouble fielding a team."

The Pennsylvania all-stars will be without Penn State recruit Treavor Gelsinger of Greencastle-Antrim, who's recovering from a hand injury.

While the superstar forward will be missed by his team, he might not be needed.

"From what I've heard, this could be the best team we've ever fielded," said Shalom Christian coach Jeff Garner, who will guide the Pennsylvania team. "We're going to be solid up front, in the middle and in the back. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they work together.

"The game's usually very competitive, very close. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out."

Pennsylvania won the first three games, 1-0, 1-0 and 4-1, before last year's tie.

"I expect it to be another tough game," Singer said.

In the bigger picture, however, nobody loses. All of the proceeds from the game go to the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Fund.

"We usually raise about $1,000," said event director Steve Tanner, the former Waynesboro coach, whose son Zach is a cancer survivor. "That might seem like a drop in the bucket, but every bit helps."

"The end result is it's a good time for the kids, and it raises money for cancer," Singer said. "So we're happy to do it."

The Herald-Mail all-stars include: Boonsboro's Rick Tonetti, Nick Stitely and Jeremy Lantz; Clear Spring's Kyle Reese, Roger Shoemaker and Nick Smith; Grace's Zach Koontz; North Hagerstown's Josh Borland and Will Abeles; Smithsburg's Matt Baer and Ryan Keller; South Hagerstown's Matt Adams; St. James' Colin McWilliams, Cullen Garrity, Cyrus Morgan and Steve Wilson; and Williamsport's Brison Cordelly.

Public Opinion's all-stars include: Chambersburg's Corey Grove and Spencer Crider; Fannett-Metal's Donovan McGee; Greencastle's Jaren Gembe; James Buchanan's Dion Lehman; McConnellsburg's Evan Mellott and J.J. Grace; Mercersburg Academy's Tim Rahauser, Matt Engle and Dusty French; Shalom's Derek Oberholzer and Joe Horner; Shippensburg's Brent Russell, Steve Xereas and Mitchell Hess; and Waynesboro's Nick Adams.

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