Brookline Youth Soccer Association
1999 Skills Competition/All-Star Games

<Skills Results>                      <AllStar Results>

The Brookline Youth Soccer Association held its annual Skills Competition, followed by the divisional All-Star games on Saturday, October 9, 1999, at Moore Park. The weather was warm in the morning hours as our local athletes (ages 6-13) competed for medals in the Skills events. The afternoon was wet, with a steady drizzle falling, but the rain hardly dampened the enthusiasm as BYSA's finest went toe-to-toe in the All-Star games.

The day kicked off at 8:30am with the Skills Competition, consisting of four events: Punting (distance and accuracy), Speed Dribbling, Throw-In (distance and accuracy) and Shooting Accuracy. The first group to compete were the PeeWee's (ages 6-7). Shane O'Malley highlighted the show by booming a 61'11" punt, nearly 20 feet further than second place Anthony Costa. Shane also receiving a gold medal in the Throw-In with a mighty 26'5" toss, out-distancing Tyler Trainor by four feet. In the other events, Eric Lynch navigated through the cones in 11.7 seconds for first place in the Speed Dribbling, a full 1.2 seconds ahead of silver medalist Jeff Zerbe. However, Zerbe was not to be denied as he came back to win a five-player shoot-out for the top spot in the Shooting stage.

The Junior's (ages 8-9) came next at 9:45am. Dan Brown fought off stiff competition from Anthony Zwickle and William Nuss to take gold in Punting with a 63'2" boot. Kayla Conroy deftly slithered through the cones to take first in Speed Dribbling with a time of 12.3 seconds, two ticks ahead of second-place Scott McClelland. Michael Wagner took first in Throw-In with a 32'6" toss, beating Zwickle by four inches, and Jason Frauens topped a six-player shootout for gold in Shooting.

The eleventh hour saw Zach Sheridan of the Novice division (ages 10-11) begin his drive for a pocket-full of gold by booming a 79'7" punt, followed by a 12.7 second run through the cones and a 42'7" throw-in, all first place finishes. Only in the Shooting stage did Sheridan's march come to a halt, with Conner Houk taking first place outright with a score of 8 points. Matt McGraw and Zak Harshbarger followed Conner with seven points apiece. McGraw won the tie-breaker for second place.

In the Senior division (ages 12-13), Shawn Boyle was top dog in Punting, blasting a 104' kick, followed by Michael Dienert at 101'3". Caitlin Goodwin showed everyone why BYSA girls are not to be taken lightly by launching a 68'6" throw-in, besting Boyle's second place toss by over 10 feet. Frank Kocher dribbled through the cones in 11.9 seconds, two-tenths of a second ahead of Andrew Barone, and Walt Impellicieri won a shoot-out with cousin ToriLynn Beveridge for first place in Shooting.

Each age group wrapped up their morning activities with a raffle for some Pittsburgh Riverhound's souvenirs. Prizes included sweaters, t-shirts, caps and mini-soccer balls. The grand prize drawing, for a $100 Toys-R-Us gift certificate, was won by Emil Erhart of the Senior division. Another lucky winner was Jen Russo, soccer mom and BYSA volunteer, who took home the cash prize in the all-day 50/50.

A drizzling rain began to fall at the beginning of the PeeWee and Novice All-Star contests, which kicked off at 1:30pm. In the PeeWee contest, held on the small upper field, coach Moe Buskirk's A-team rode Tyler Trainor's two tallies to a 2-0 victory over coach Dale Perrett's B-team. The B squad put up a fine defensive performance but it wasn't enough to stop Trainor, a talented young scoring machine who is only just beginning to make his mark on the soccer community.

The Novice game, held on the large lower field, was won by coach Dave Osterman's A-team over coach Max Haller's B-team by a margin of 4-2. Jordan Osterman contributed two goals while Marty Beyers and Zack Sheridan added one apiece for the winners. The B-team got on the board with two goals from Ryan Deasy. This was another excellent team performance, with players from both squads dazzling the crowd with one fine play after another.

At 2:30pm, the Junior and Senior contests kicked off on the upper and lower fields, respectively. In the Junior match-up, coach Jim McClelland's A-team and coach Mark Schnupp's B-team squared off in an evenly-matched, hard-fought contest that ended in a 0-0 tie. Both teams relentlessly drove the ball up and down the field, but the defenders held the upper hand throughout the blitz. B-team goalie Bobby Ihrig preserved the tie with several key saves late in the game, highlighted by a leaping, rolling, stretching grab to rob Ryne Tinney of a game winner.

The Senior division finished the day with coach Bob Beveridge's B-team edging coach Ron Boyle's A-team by a score of 3-2. Shawn Boyle and Jordan Zahorchak found the net for the A squad, only to be matched by Mark Kopperman's two goals. Fine goaltending by John Gallagher and Jeff Downey, and fantastic performances by B-team defenders Erin McNulty and Caitlin Goodwin, kept the game close and set the stage for a memorable finish.

With time running low and the score tied 2-2, Frank Kocher of the B squad dribbled his way through a maze of defenders and found Christopher Russo, who took a perfect pass and converted it into the winning goal. It was an exciting finish to a great game, and the coaches had nothing but praise for their respective teams.

"The goal scorers get all the attention," Beveridge said, "but the real stars are the mid-fielders and the defenders. They are the cornerstones of any good team, and ours played a great game."

By four o'clock in the afternoon, it was all over. The steady drizzle turned into a heavier rain, but the clouds had held back the gloomy weather long enough for BYSA's best to shine. For the players, coaches and spectators it was a fan-tastic day for Brookline soccer, and for the league officials, another fine day at the office. BYSA would like to offer its sincerest thanks to all of the volunteers who spent their morning and afternoon helping to make this a fun-filled experience for the kids. To coin a phrase from the Arts and Entertainment channel, it was "Time Well Spent."

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