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Md. stars have dual purpose

November 11, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - In the history of the Four Diamonds All-Star Soccer Game - which will be played for the seventh time at Waynesboro High School on Wednesday at 7 p.m. - two things have remained constant.

First, all proceeds go to a great cause - the Four Diamonds Cancer Fund, which helps with expenses for families of children battling the disease. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

"People donate even more," said event organizer Steve Tanner, the former Waynesboro coach. "There's always someone who drops off a check, it's not just the $5 to get in. Everybody's been touched by cancer somehow and they know the expense and they want to help. Even though this is just a drop in the bucket, it helps a little bit."

Second, The Herald-Mail's Washington County All-Stars have yet to beat the Public Opinion Pennsylvania All-Stars, who are 5-0-1 in the event.

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That's a fact Williamsport coach Chris Downs and the rest of Washington County's seniors would like to change.

"The first priority is to raise a lot of money for the cause," Downs said. "That's the most important thing. But we'd like to hang a win up on the board. We're going to have a little practice (today), which is something we haven't done before. We'll try to come up with a bit of a game plan. Hopefully, the kids will get a little used to playing with each other and it will make a difference."

Boonsboro's impending Maryland Class 1A state title game against Pocomoke on Friday will keep Warriors seniors Shane Lowery, Keith Welch, Steve Kopp and Ryan Barrett from participating Wednesday.

"It's going to hurt a little but not having the Boonsboro boys, but we have to like our chances with the success most of the county teams have had," Downs said.

Win or lose, the opportunity for the players to compete on the same side with each other after being adversaries all season, as well as the chance to showcase skills honed over the past four years - and in most cases much longer - brings the season to a fitting close.

"The kids all have a mutual respect for what everybody has been able to accomplish," Downs said. "To get to play with the guys they've been battling against all season, that opportunity doesn't come along every day. And it's a nice way to get to showcase their talents a little bit. For the coaches, it's nice to get to work with the players from the other teams you don't get to work with very often, so it's exciting for us."

The Herald-Mail's Washington County All-Stars include: Clear Spring - Elliott Reid (mid), Sam Myers (def). North Hagerstown - Michael Baer (for), Matt Johnston (mid), Allen Sandberg (def), Stephen Johnson (def), Alex Rauch (mid). Smithsburg - Steve Kretzer (for), Zach Carson (for), Phil Weller (mid). South Hagerstown - Nick Ziolkowski (mid), Daniel Elder (def). St. James - Nick Yaraghi (mid). Williamsport - Michael Reyes (for), Edwin Reyes (mid), Derek Munro (goalie), Justin Gardenhour (def), Adam Weaver (def), Jonathan Marx (def). Coach - Chris Downs (Williamsport)

The Public Opinion Pennsylvania All-Stars include: Chambersburg - Nate Over (mid), Cory Boushell (def). James Buchanan - Seth Gilbert (def). Shippensburg - Kelly Hess (mid), David Gerlach (mid), Zack Piper (def), Kyle Plasterer (def), Tucker Wrights (for). Waynesboro - Hampus Johansson (for), Mike Mowen (goalie), Cory Duesler (def). McConnellsburg - Logan Wagner (for). Fannett-Metal - Danny Foy (for), Logan Miller (mid). Shalom Christian - Nathanael Raber (for), Matt Horner (goalie). Mercersburg Academy - Tim McHale (mid), Tad Holzapfel (def). Coach - Warren Jones (Shippensburg).

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