SCC’s Herrmann Repeats As All-Valley Boys’ Captain
When it comes to scoring, no one in the Ohio Valley had that aspect of soccer down as well as Steubenville Catholic’s Leo Herrmann.
But then again, you knew that. Coaches knew that. Other players knew that.
Herrmann put forth a season for the ages in his final campaign playing at Steubenville Catholic, scoring a school-record 53 goals and adding five assists.
Naturally the postseason awards flowed in, with his final one being named the captain of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register’s 25th annual All-Valley Soccer Team.
It is the second season in a row Herrmann has been bestowed this honor, becoming the first repeat captain since Wheeling Park’s Josh Henderson in 2009-2010.
He finishes his Crusaders career as the all-time school leader in goals with 122.
“Leo has a lot of natural ability and worked extremely hard throughout his career to better develop his skills and improve his game as shown by his stats over the past couple of years,” Steubenville Catholic coach Steve Kopcha said. “He has a great ability to score goals with both feet as well as in the air with his head.”
Once the season ended, his trophy case started to get a little full. Along with being named the All-Valley captain, Herrmann was selected first team All-Ohio, All-OVAC, All-Eastern District in Ohio and the Eastern District Player of the Year.
“Leo took full advantage of the opportunities on the field to score goals by being precise and accurate with his shooting,” Kopcha said.
Herrmann, who is getting plenty of looks from colleges, has yet to make a determination on his academic and athletic future.
Wherever he goes, feel a little pity on opposing goalies. They are likely in for a quite a busy afternoon.
Eric Bonar, Wheeling Park
In case the All-Valley team looks a little familiar for Wheeling Park fans, that’s because it is. All three Patriots on the first team last year made their return to the squad this season. First up is Bonar, the senior center midfielder who led Coach Mario Julian’s squad in scoring with a very balanced 13 goals and 14 assists. Widely considered one of the best all-around players in the state of the West Virginia, Bonar was a first team all-state selection by the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association. Bonar won his second straight OVAC Class 5A Player of the Year award, this time sharing it with Morgantown’s Zac Kilwein.
Dominic DiCarlo, Steubenville
In order to succeed in soccer, sometimes it’s not about who scores the most goals or makes the most saves. In a game that lasts 80 minutes, a well-conditioned player can be your biggest weapon. Enter DiCarlo. “He is a great leader and center midfielder,” Steubenville coach Greg Bowers said. “He trained hard for it and ran miles every game to make sure we were successful.” That’s dedication to your craft. DiCarlo scored eight goals with 12 assists for Big Red. He was named first team All-OVAC and All-Eastern District.
John Paul Duff, Steubenville
The first of two goalies on the All-Valley team, Duff follows in a long line of hard-nosed players that epitomize the Steubenville team. Big Red is always one of the top defensive teams in the Ohio Valley and it all starts with the goalkeeper. Duff stopped 122 shots for Bowers’ squad and posted an impressive 1.3 goals against average. Duff was selected as the OVAC Class 4A Player of the Year, as well as an OVAC and Eastern District first-teamer. He was second team All-Ohio. “John Paul Duff made many highlight saves during close games that allowed us to hang in games and eventually take the lead,” Bowers said. “He was very special and tight games brought his level of competitiveness out.”
Robert Felton, Linsly
Felton is the first of four Linsly players to be named to the All-Valley first team. This senior sweeper has been a captain for three seasons under Coach Eric Fries, as well as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year three years running. Felton was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as he scored five goals with five assists in leading Linsly to the OVAC Cup title game. “Robert is our most consistent player,” Fries said. Felton, making his second straight appearance on the All-Valley team, was also named first team All-OVAC and all-state by the coaches.
Mason George, Linsly
When Linsly needed a big goal, be it against Wheeling Park or Charleston Catholic, George was the one who always came through. With 28 goals, George was the Cadets’ leading scorer, more than doubling the next highest total. He also chipped in with six assists. A team captain and three-year starter, the junior forward was voted the Cadets’ Most Valuable Offensive Player and was also named first team All-OVAC and second team all-state by the coaches.
Alex Hannah, Weir
It’s not very often Weir has just one representative on the All-Valley squad, but Hannah is one that is definitely deserving. With a young squad loaded with sophomores and freshmen, Hannah was counted on for leadership and scoring – and he did plenty of both. A four-year starter and letterwinner, Hannah scored 14 goals and had 10 assists to go along with 81 steals for Coach Joe Pepe’s Red Riders. “This player has it all,” Pepe said. “He’s a playmaker, great foot skills, excellent ball control and excellent field vision.” Hanna was named first team All-OVAC and all-state by the coaches. The West Virginia Sports Writers Association honored him with a second-team nod.
Nathan Mauck, Wheeling Park
Mauck scored seven goals from his midfeld position in 2013, but the senior had more of a defensive mindset than anything. “His defensive skill set in the midfield was probably better than other player in the state,” Julian said. “He could take away other teams’ best player and hold them in check. Nate was also so aggressive in his play, he would win most headers and steal the ball from an opponent at will.” Mauck was named first team All-OVAC and all-state by the coaches.
John-Paul McNamara Steubenville Catholic
If Herrmann was Batman, McNamara was the Robin of the Steubenville Catholic team. With all the focus on Herrmann, McNamara saw his fair share of chances to score. The senior forward didn’t disappoint. McNamara scored 14 goals and added 28 assists in earning first-team All-OVAC and All-Eastern District honors. “John-Paul has great vision on the field, has very good ball skills and is able to keep possession with the ball in order to create opportunities,” Kopcha said. “John-Paul provided many of the assists on Leo’s goals. The two worked as good team together.”
Zach Oliver, St. Clairsville
Hard work is a common theme among All-Valley first-teamers and Oliver epitomizes that. Despite playing in a two-striker system that doesn’t feature one player, Oliver still managed to shine. “He stood out because of his relentless drive to excel,” St. Clairsville coach Gary Watt said. “I am very excited about what his senior year will bring. I know he will draw attention from opposing teams but it will be fun to watch him rise to the occasion.” Oliver, a three-year starter, was the Red Devils’ leading scorer with 23 goals. He was an All-OVAC first-teamer.
Colin Riley, Linsly
An All-Valley second-teamer a year ago, Riley broke through with a big junior season to make the first-team squad. This stopper scored five goals and chipped in with four assists from a defensive position. With many of the opponents’ coaches trying to scheme away from Felton, Riley saw his fair share of talent coming his way. As the front of the defense, he was also in charge of many of the offensive attacks quickly going to the other way. Riley, who will likely be a front-runner for All-Valley captain entering next season, was named first team All-OVAC and second team all-state by the coaches.
With size, strength and speed, Robertson was the kind of player a coach would want to build his defense around. Robertson was responsible for keeping the defense in shape through communicating and organizing his other players. “Not too many other opposing teams could outrun Grant,” Julian said. “Probably his biggest attribute was his ability to get involved in the attack moving forward.”Another strong campaign has the senior defender thinking about the future, although academics come first. He is looking at Duke, Purdue and West Virginia University for colleges, but according to Julian, he plans on trying to walk on wherever he goes. Robertson was the lone player, boys or girls, in the Ohio Valley to be selected first team all-state by the sports writers. He was also first team All-OVAC and all-state by the coaches.
A number of Division II schools are looking at Romine. Whoever gets him is going to be very lucky. Making his third straight appearance on the All-Valley team, Romine scored 18 goals with three assists. Not bad for someone who played in just 11 games thanks to a torn ACL. But even in limited action, he was good enough to grab the attention of the state’s coaches and the OVAC, both of which named him to their first teams. He was the OVAC Class 3A-1A Player of the Year. Before he went down on the field, Romine went down in Silver Knights history as the all-time leader scorer in school history with 60 goals and 23 assists.
With three position players representing Linsly on the All-Valley team, you can imagine how tough it was just to get a shot off against the Cadets. Now picture getting that shot off only to have Truong there to ruin your hopes of scoring. That’s the feeling many coaches and players felt all season. Described by Fries as fearless and athletic, Truong recorded 12 shutouts in 21 games, allowing just 23 goals all season for an Ohio Valley-leading 1.09 goals against percentage. Truong was named first team all-state by the coaches.
When Wissmann made the All-Valley first team last season, his capsule talked about his leadership role as just a junior. Not only did that get better, but with other players following his lead, it allowed for the senior center midfielder to be a more aggressive in his final go-around at Red Devil Stadium. Wissmann more than doubled his goals total, putting 19 in the back of the net to go along with 14 assists. The team Most Valuable Player, Wissmann was named first team All-OVAC and All-Eastern District, as well as second team All-Ohio. “His talent made us a better team, but his greatest contribution is how he encouraged and helped the younger players,” Watt said. “He is a leader and captain in every sense and a pleasure to coach.”