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Tom Beigel, Steubenville Catholic

Winning has become a tradition for coach Steve Kopcha and Steubenville Catholic.

The Crusaders have reeled off three consecutive OVAC Championships and seven out of the last eight.

The defending champions will look to add another trophy to the case this year behind the leg of the talented Tom Beigel.

As a sophomore, Beigel was a critical member of the team as he paced the Crusaders with 22 goals and three assists.

“Tom was a very important piece to our team last year,” Kopcha said. “He was our leading scorer.

“Between him and Mikey Irvin, they provided a dynamic combination up front for us.”

Both Irvin and Beigel were named to the All-Valley team but with Irvin gone after his senior season, Beigel will be looked to as the leader in his junior campaign.

“He is going to be one of our leaders,” Kopcha said. “He is one of our returning starters and along with our seniors this year, they will have important roles. He is one of our primary forwards and I expect him to be one of our leading scorers.”

Along with All-Valley accolades, Beigel also garnered first-team All-OVAC and All-Eastern District honorable mention a season ago.

“Tom is a very talented player,” Kopcha said. “He works extremely hard at practicing his skills and his speed. He has developed into a very talented player.

“He is also a tremendous teammate. His work ethic makes him a good role model for younger players.”

Winning seven OVAC titles in eight years has been fun for Kopcha but it’s players like Beigel that makes his job enjoyable.

“When you have someone as talented as he is, it is fun to watch,” Kopcha said. “He is a special player and I am excited to see him out on the field this year.”

For Beigel, there is no offseason as he spends the majority of his spring on the pitch.

“He plays travel soccer, as well,” Kopcha said. “It’s a great opportunity to play year-round. Spring soccer allows you to play with different players from different schools.

“It’s a good opportunity for him, as well as anybody else who plays travel soccer.”

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