Varano, Deitrick named soccer players of the year
One is a scoring machine who likely will be closing in on 100 career goals as a senior next season.
The other is just the opposite, the last line of defense for his team who played his position so well, he was named an all-state player.
Mount Carmel junior Ali Varano and Shamokin senior goalkeeper Jon Deitrick are the Female and Male Players of the Year, respectively, on The News-Item's 2012 All-Area soccer team.
The pair, both repeat selections from last season, are joined by five other repeat picks on the team - Southern Columbia's Mackenzie Clark, Bailey Bzdak and Nate Mitchell, Lourdes Regional's Rachel Schultz and Shamokin's Matt Gass.
Varano, Clark, Bzdak, Schultz and Gass are all three-time selections.
Other girls picks include Southern Columbia's Teanna Shutt, Haley Levan, Ally Stavinski and Jess Watkins; Mount Carmel's Tara Demko and Paige Hornung; Lourdes' Bailey Trell and Shamokin's Brianna Martin.
Other boys selections are Shamokin's Ryan Rompolski and Theo Deptula; Southern Columbia's Dylan Swank, Jeff Hall and Tyler Behrent; and Mount Carmel's Dan Fletcher, Armando Chami and Nick Troutman.
Varano, who played Scottie Pippen to Ranotta Ahrensfield's Michael Jordan at Mount Carmel for her first two seasons, took over the top scoring reins this season and was easily the area's top scorer, girls or boys. She produced 29 goals and added three assists for 61 points, using her speed to outrun defenders into scoring position. She had four hat tricks, including three four-goal games.
Unofficially, she has now scored 65 goals and 15 assists through three seasons.
Deitrick was the area boys leader in saves (143) and tied with
Southern goalie Tyler Behrent with four shutouts. He gave up just 23 goals in 18 games, although the Indian defense in front of him was relatively young. His save percentage was an outstanding .861 and he had 18 saves in the Indians' 2-0 loss to Midd-West in the district playoffs, many of the outstanding variety. He was named Heartland Conference Division II first team goalie and earned all-state honors.
Following are thumbnail sketches of the other selections:
Bailey Bzdak, Southern
Area's second leading scorer, with 17 goals and seven assistS for 41 points. First team Heartland pick scored all of Southern's postseason goals. Has 42 goals, 18 assists for her career.
Mackenzie Clark, Southern
Junior is part of the triumvirate of Southern's scorers along with Bzdak and Stavinski. She scored 11 goals and led the area with 12 assists for 34 points. Had two hat tricks, including a four-goal game. She has 36 goals and 25 assists for her career. First team Heartland Conference pick.
Rachel Schultz, Lourdes
Schultz was third in area with 15 goals, and added five assists for 31 points. had one four-goal game and four two-goal games.
Teanna Shutt, Southern
First team Heartland Conference pick. She scored four goals with five assists and was tenacious defender.
Haley Levan, Southern
Freshman had a solid debut season. Her hard-charging style led to 10 goals and nine assists for 29 points.
Ally Stavinski, Southern
Another of the Tigers' potent offensive weapons, she had 10 goals and four assists for 24 points.
Jess Watkins, Southern
Tigers' goalie led area with eight shutouts and posted 62 saves, with a .785 save percentage.
Brianna Martin, Shamokin
Sophomore goalie was often up against it against the Indians' tough schedule, but responded well, with 122 saves, two shutouts and a .772 save percentage.
Tara Demko, Mount Carmel
First team Heartland Conference all-star was heart of Mount Carmel's defense. Also scored a goal.
Paige Hornung, Mount Carmel
Played tenacious defense and was assigned to get the ball upfield cleanly on offense.
Bailey Trell, Lourdes
Sophomore scored eight goals and had nine assists for a team which was usually outmanned but nonetheless competitive.
Matt Gass, Shamokin
The biggest offensive weapon among area players, he led area with 20 goals and added seven assists for 47 points. First team Heartland Conference pick. Scored 44 goals with 14 assists over past three seasons.
Nate Mitchell, Southern Columbia
Junior midfielder controls play in middle of field for Tigers. He scored two goals and had eight assists.
Ryan Rompolski, Shamokin
Rompolski's playmaking in the middle set up bursts by Gass and Deptula. He scored eight goals and had 10 assists. First team Heartland Conference pick.
Theo Deptula, Shamokin
Deptula was second to Gass in goals among area players (12) and added five assists for 29 points.
Dylan Swank, Southern
Swank scored seven goals for the Tigers. A kicker for the football team, he had a 38-yard field goal during the season.
Jeff Hall, Southern
Hall led the Tigers in goals (9) and the area in assists (12), and his 30 points were second only to Gass. His playmaking helped keep the young Tigers in most games.
Danny Fletcher, Mount Carmel
Tied for team lead in goal (7) and added two assists as Red Tornadoes won their first games in Heartland Conference play.
Armando Chami, Mount Carmel
Scored seven goals and had an assist for Red Tornadoes.
Tyler Behrent, Southern
Despite missing several games, Behrent recorded four shutouts and 80 saves, with a .792 save percentage.
Nick Troutman, Mount Carmel
Midfielder led Red Tornadoes in assists (5), scored three goals and was ususally assigned to defend other team's top scorer.