Seneca Valley soccer captains savor one last match
Although the past couple of seasons saw the Seneca Valley boys soccer team enjoy much success, the end of an era came late this fall for a trio of veteran captains in defenseman Joe DeAugustino, goalie Colton Smith and forward Jared Myers.
These seniors thought they had played their final soccer match as teammates after playing much of their careers together since a young age.
They got one more chance to take the field together when the trio was named to the Western Pennsylvania Coaches Soccer Association All-Star Game, which was played late last month at Moon High School.
“It was a nice honor,” Smith said. “We were out of the playoffs sooner than we expected, but the fact we were the team captains, it made it cool that our team voted us (into those positions) so it shows they looked to us when they needed to.”
Smith said his athleticism was the reason he thinks he got the nod, but the fact he set a school record with 10 shutouts and the lowest goals against average probably didn't hurt, either.
DeAugustino said it was special not just to play with two close friends, but the cast of other players he usually has to defend.
“That list of players is one where I recognize a lot of names,” DeAugustino said. “It was very humbling to be put on this team.”
The honor helped leave a stamp of excellence that the group of Seneca Valley players forged the past three seasons as players and leaders.
“Both Joe and Jared have great work ethics and do it day in and out,” Smith said. “They help young players grow.”
DeAugustino said it was a cool thing to get to play one more game together.
“I played with Jared since the micro-leagues when we were 4, then Colton joined us when we were 9,” DeAugustino said. “We have grown up together, so it was nice to close this high school chapter this way. It was a little sentimental.”
Myers said it was a great opportunity; the game was not something they took lightly because of their competitive nature.
“We have all matured and were able to get through tough times together,” Myers said. “We all understand what you gain over time and what it takes to have success.”
Myers said the All-Star event was something they all quietly were shooting for, but when all three players made the roster it, it was just a little sweeter. Myers also earned one of the 14 All-State nominations, as well.
“I don't set out and try for honors; you can't work that way,” Myers said. “I just play one game at a time and excel at the game. These honors are just a bonus.
“I have to give a nod to our coaching staff. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”
DeAugustino said that in addition to the physical skills each player brought, mental determination was another reason they were selected for the game.
“We all made correct decisions on the field,” DeAugustino said. “None of us made many mistakes. ... We know the game well. I have the coaches to thank for that.
“It was just a joy to be together one last time.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.