Southmoreland grad makes first team all-AMCC in soccer
After making third-team, All Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) in his freshmen season, and second-team all conference in his sophomore season, junior midfielder Jeremy Niemiec had a bigger goal this season.
Safe to say he reached it. Niemiec was named first-team, all AMCC.
Niemiec, a Southmoreland graduate, is a junior midfielder for the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg men's soccer team. Niemiec, a co-captain for the Bobcats, started all 19 games and totaled 16 points. He also had a team high of seven goals, including two game-winners.
Niemiec was very excited for this recognition.
“I was more than beyond excited when I found out the news that I received first team honors for my junior season efforts for the AMCC” he said. “Our athletic director, Tony Berich, personally told me of the news himself and offered a first sign of congratulations.”
“I was really proud of Jeremy” said assistant coach Chuck Wigle, He also explained Jeremy is only the second player during his tenure to receive first-team honors.
For Niemiec, the first-team honor is quite gratifying,
“With first team comes the sense that you are among the best of the conference” he said. He also explained that “only 11 players out of a conference that has 10 teams, and rosters about 25 players for every team can make the first-team list.”
“To be considered among the conference's elite, is a feeling all of its own” he said
Niemiec has been dedicated to the game of soccer and the program at UPG.
“I both believe and feel I deserve this honor because I have worked so hard over the course of my college career for one day to have it all pay off” he said. “My commitment always comes first for the program's success.”
Niemiec's teammates were very congratulatory of their colleague.
“My closest teammates on my team reacted the most heart-warming of anyone” he said. Niemiec explained they were saying that if anyone deserved it, it was him. “From teammate to teammate, that means more to an athlete than people may actually think.”
Niemiec also received support from the university staff and faculty. He explained the staff inside the athletic office to his professors that he has for class also congratulated him.
“It's very rewarding to know that the staff care for the success you have as a student-athlete” he said.
Despite Niemiec's honor, the Bobcats struggled this past season with a 3-16 record. This led their head coach, Ted Wawryziniak, to resign after the season.
However, in 2012, the Bobcats had an 11-6-1 record and were considered one of the conference's best teams. Niemiec explained the team lost five starters this season for numerous reasons.
Individually though, Niemiec hasn't had many struggles during his collegiate campaign.
“As for my career struggles, I believe that I really haven't had to overcome any major adversity” he said. “I've been lucky enough to stay healthy throughout my college career thus far, physically and mentally. “With all of my preparation and training I do during the off-season, I know that is why I have been as successful as I have been.”
Wigle expect Niemiec to continue to have success.
“If he continues to work another all-conference selection is in his future, not to mention he's put himself into the conversation for regional All-American honors, after three straight selections to the All Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Team” said Wigle.
Bill Tissue is a contributing writer.