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Boys soccer team off to impressive start at Jeannette

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit
Jeannette senior T.J. Darragh works the ball.
John Howard | The Jeannette SPirit
Brad Snyder heads the ball in the season opener.
John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit
Jeannette senior Bailey Chishko scores the game-winner against Geibel.

There is a cool new fad at Jeannette High School.

It has nothing to do with a trend in the fashions of the school's uniforms, a new smartphone that all the cool kids have or a catchy Bruno Mars tune.

It is the boys soccer program.

No, really, it is.

The boys soccer program, which was in real jeopardy of not being able to field 11 players shortly before the season began, has played great in two scrimmages, won its first game of the season last Tuesday, 2-1, over Geibel Catholic, and has seen its numbers grow from 11 to 18 players since new head coach Mitchell Steele began actively seeking out players for the team.

“We have been able to get some young guys into the program and that is great for the future of Jeannette soccer,” said Steele.

“It is very exciting to see how quickly things have changed.”

Interest and participation in boys soccer is not the only change Steele has affected this season.

The first-year coach moved senior Bailey Chishko from his midfield position to forward and told him to not worry about his old job — playing defense — and to go score some goals.

Chishko must be very coachable, or very lucky, because he immediately began contributing, scoring seven times in Jeannette's two scrimmages and the game winner in the Geibel win.

“As soon as I saw Bailey dribble and shoot the ball, I told him that he was playing forward,” said Steele. “He made a spin move and scored a goal in our second scrimmage that was one of the best goals I've ever seen.”

Freshman Blaize Tran, of course, scored the opening goal in the Geibel game.

“Of course,” because he had scored the first goal in both of Jeannette's scrimmages.

Geibel tied the game late in the first half but the Jayhawks never panicked.

“I am so proud of how well the team responded after (Geibel) scored,” said Steele.

“We rallied through and it was nice to see the midfielders play so well with the lead.”

Jeannette plays three games in five days this week, so they will know much more about how far their early season momentum can carry them, but at least for a couple of weeks, the boys soccer team is the hottest thing in Jeannette.

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