ShareThis Page

Trip to boy soccer playoffs remains West Shamokin's top goal

| Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

While West Shamokin's football players were waking up Saturday after a season-opening win, the Wolves' boys soccer team was getting one of its own.

West Shamokin started the season with a 3-1 nonsection win at Kittanning, the Wolves' first win over the Wildcats in more than a decade of playing their Armstrong School District neighbors.

Though the win does nothing toward the Wolves reaching the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2005, it's a positive start for a group that hopes to finish in the top half of Section 2-A.

“I'm not sure what to expect, but we should compete in our section,” said West Shamokin coach Jon Minteer Sr., who took over this season from his son, Jon. “I'm not saying first or second, but at least third and competing for the playoffs.”

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for the Wolves to overcome is their roster size. West Shamokin has just 15 varsity players, but if the team can avoid injury, Minteer thinks they have the ability to do well.

“With only 15 players total, our guys are conditioned to play the whole 80 minutes,” Minteer said. “Our team really plays well as a team. They pass well and work well as a group, and we haven't really had that in the years I've been here.”

Three senior midfielders — Zane Clowser, D.J. Hough and Brandon Schamberg — and a senior goalkeeper, Ryan Myers, are the veterans on Minteer's squad and are expected to be the team's leaders.

Clowser got on the scoresheet in the opener, as did two younger players, junior Jake Hough and sophomore Josh Davis, both of whom were a part of last year's varsity squad.

The most encouraging sight for Minteer in the opening game was the way his players linked play together, perhaps in large part because of the experience in the midfield.

“We try to drum into them not to hog the ball and not to dribble too much,” Minteer said. “I think the guys realize it works when they play as a team.”

Minteer said having a small roster helps his team's chemistry; they know they all will be called upon in game situations. He also credits his assistant coach, West Shamokin alum Scott Davis, for getting involved with drills in practice.

The Wolves now have over a week between games. The team next plays Monday at Jeannette before starting section play at home Sept. 10, but Minteer hopes his group can maintain the strong play it showed in its season opener.

“We have good communication, and that always helps,” Minteer said. “My defensive captain is always yelling, the guys are talking to each other, and that's what we want.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.