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Seneca Valley captain embraces winning formula

Louis Raggiunti - Seneca Valley soccer captain Jared Myers (13) controls the ball during a recent game this season for the Raiders, who were undefeated in section play.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Louis Raggiunti</em></div>Seneca Valley soccer captain Jared Myers (13) controls the ball during a recent game this season for the Raiders, who were undefeated in section play.
Louis Raggiunti - Jared Myers (13) tries to navigate past an Allerdice player in a WPIAL first-round playoff match.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Louis Raggiunti</em></div>Jared Myers (13) tries to navigate past an Allerdice player in a WPIAL first-round playoff match.

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Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 8:47 p.m.
 

Being a leader can be easy when high expectations are met with a talented and deep team prepared to live up to them.

At Seneca Valley this season, the boys soccer team lost a lot of talent to graduation. To further compound the difficulty, the Raiders play in a difficult section with the likes on North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and a resurgent Butler team.

The odds seemed stacked against the Raiders as the season began, but despite the lack of respect, captain Jared Myers helped rally the team. Seneca Valley tore through the section with a perfect 12-0 record and pushed the season to the second round of the WPIAL playoffs. After defeating Allderdice in the first round, Seneca Valley was beaten by Peters Township in the quarterfinals.

“It was definitely all about the team,” Myers said. “We started to bond over the summer, and we literally took it one game at a time all season. That was the mentality, and we just kept winning.”

The foundation was set for Myers long ago by head coach George Williams.

“Coach Williams can deal with all of the different characters on the team (and the many different personalities),” Myers said. “His ability to do that is a great accomplishment in itself.”

Williams said that having Myers and the mentality that came along with him was important in helping this team succeed.

“Jared has been great to work with and did a nice job as a team captain this year,” Williams said. “He took being captain very seriously. His dedication at practice and games coupled with a high level of skill and good ideas of his own provided an excellent example for the team.”

One of Myers' greatest accomplishments on the field might have gone unnoticed by many, because it was in a game in which he didn't register on the score sheet.

“The first game when we beat North Allegheny this year, I actually played more defense than offense,” said Myers, a senior forward. “Defense is not exactly my forte, but all I could think was wow. … That was the type of game you want to be a part of. It was just fun.”

With only so many games for a player during a high school career, Myers' message to those who will carry on for him is to enjoy the time and have fun.

“Sure, we got upset (in the quarterfinals), but if you don't have fun out there, what's the point?” he said. “I hope they remember the good times and stay positive about things.”

Myers said his plan is to attend Penn State Behrend where he wants to study business and play soccer. Former Seneca Valley soccer player Anthony Crivelli also is on the team at Behrend.

“The coaches there are awesome, and it is really all about the education,” Myers said.

Williams said Myers has all the tools to be a college player, and the opportunity to play is something he dreamed of.

“Jared is just great to work with,” Williams said. “I saw no reason he would not go on to play in college.”

Myers said that although it will sound strange, he will miss those early-morning practices at Seneca Valley.

“It's only been a couple days, but I do miss that,” Myers said. “I really have to thank all the parents (of the players) and the entire organization, the coaches for all the things they have done for the team.”

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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