The 2017 York-Adams League boys’ soccer season was filled with a lot of memories.
From West York’s huge upset of Central York in the league playoffs, to the crowing of a new champion in Susquehannock, the list of accomplishments was many.
While those examples were of team success, players across the two counties also created memorable plays and moments along the way.
For three players in particular — Central York’s Nick Starr, Susquehannock’s Jason Weger and Hanover’s Diego Aguilar — their magical seasons were awarded one last honor. All three were recently named their respective division’s Player of the Year as voted by the league’s coaches.
"Super" Starr: Of the three, Starr clearly has the right name for the honor as the Division I Player of the Year. With teammates calling him "Super," Starr was a consistent force for a Central York squad that this season.
A captain for the Panthers both his junior and senior campaigns, Starr helped his team cruise to another Division I title in 2017. The midfielder was often pivotal in either scoring or setting up his teammates for goals all year.
“This is just a great recognition,” said Starr, who was named to the PIAA Class 4-A All-State team as well. “It just kind of shows how hard I was working the whole season.”
Like many of his teammates, Starr was more proud of the collective team’s success than any personal honors bestowed upon him.
“I was just doing it for the team,” he said. “It’s all about the team.”
That team was certainly dominant over Starr’s four years. During that time frame the Panthers finished with a remarkable 47-0-1 record against Division I schools. The only blemish was a tie against Dallastown last season.
“It was just great playing with all of those guys,” Starr said. “It’s all about chemistry and I just felt that this year’s chemistry was off the charts.”
Weger takes home Division II honor: A similar statement can be made for Weger and his Division II-champion Warriors. Despite graduating a handful of seniors from the 2016 squad, Susquehannock was able to roll to an undefeated season behind Weger, who scored 15 goals. And, like Starr, Weger was also named to the PIAA Class 3-A All-State team
“I know there are a lot of good players,” Weger said of Division II. “And to be named as Player of the Year was such an honor and such an accomplishment for myself and my team. I was kind of striving for that and for all-state this year.”
Looking back on a season in which the Warriors rebounded from an early 4-1 drubbing by Central York, Weger and his teammates embarked on a remarkable run that led to the team’s first York-Adams League title since 2009.
“We didn’t have our best game against Central,” Weger said. “But I think that helped us figure out what we had to work on. And it just pushed us to not have that again the rest of the season.”
The Warriors did just that as they motored through the Division II and league playoffs without a setback. Weger and company earned the No. 2 seed in the District 3 3-A playoffs where they won their opener before getting upset by Manheim Central in the quarterfinals.
“That was rough,” Weger admitted. “I still don’t think I’ve gotten over that.”
Aguilar tops in Division III: While both Starr and Weger played for division-winning squads, Aguilar was a key part in the overall improvement of Hanover’s program. Since rejoining the league in 2013 after taking a year off in 2012, the Nighthawks have slowly been improving over the past several years.
Hanover finished with a 10-6 record overall, the first winning season for the program since rejoining the league. The Nighthawks barely missed qualifying for the District 3 playoffs by one spot.
Not surprisingly, with unprecedented success came some fond memories. Aguilar pointed to an upset of second-place York Catholic as one of the biggest highlights of the campaign.
“This was just our second time ever beating them,” he said. “Before that game we had an away game against them and we lost really bad. I think it was like 8-2, but then the next day they came to us and we beat them.”
DIVISION I ALL-STARS
Player of the Year: Nick Starr (Central York)
Coach of Year: Brady Slater (South Western).
First Team: Brant Aughenbaugh (Spring Grove), Kam Stoll (Central York), Nick Starr (Central York), Trace Becker (Central York), Carter Mummert (Central York), Cade Curren (Dallastown), Sam Slater (South Western), Zach Lafaver (South Western), Joel Afata (Northeastern), Peter Foerster Jr. (New Oxford), Bryce Smith (Red Lion).
Second Team: Jonathan Perry (Spring Grove), Gabe Wunderlich (Dallastown), Addison Keja (Dallastown), Geoffrey Little (South Western), Sean Quinn (South Western), D.J. Hamilton (Northeastern), Declan Gatchell (Northeastern), Isaac Farmer (New Oxford), Sebastian Cervantes (New Oxford), Ethan Stough (Red Lion), Branden Ebersole (Red Lion).
DIVISION II ALL-STARS
Player of the Year: Jason Weger (Susquehannock)
Coach of the Year: Dave Lippiard (Kennard-Dale)
First Team: Jason Weger (Susquehannock), Josh Smiley (Susquehannock), David Muriel-Diaz (Susquehannock), Craig Potts (Kennard-Dale), Kevin Avalos (Kennard-Dale), Dalton Leik (Eastern York), Lucas Jowanowitch (Eastern York), Aiden Clark (West York), Kellen Fees (Gettysburg), Cade Wilhelm (Gettysburg), Connor Speir (Dover).
Second Team: Zach Buchanan (Susquehannock), Adam Rebich (Susquehannock), Noah McConville (Kennard-Dale), James Lippiard (Kennard-Dale), Gavin Donnelly (Eastern York), Jack Langstaff (West York), Jonathan Elder (West York), Peter Hsu (Gettysburg), Fernando Carrillo (Gettysburg), Cody Willoughby (York Suburban), Nate Bowman (York Suburban).
DIVISION III ALL-STARS
Player of the Year: Diego Aguilar (Hanover)
Coach of the Year: Jeb Nelson (Biglerville)
First Team: K.J. Clarke (Fairfield), Diego Aguilar (Hanover), Cody Daron (Biglerville), Antonio Salazar (Biglerville), Christopher Cellucci (Biglerville), Tate Kibler (York Catholic), Brian Hand (York Catholic), Steve Heinbaugh (Fairfield), Jhonatan Hernandez (Fairfield), Michael Mikesell (Littlestown), Noah Roeder (Delone Catholic).
Second Team: Bryan Diaz (Biglerville), Christian Saldivar (Biglerville), Nick DeMarco (York Catholic), Seth Falvey (York Catholic), Cody Small (Fairfield), Henry Garazo (Fairfield), Erik Martinez (Hanover), Everett Kenworthy (Hanover), Tyler Kuykendall (Bermudian Springs), Jorge Cardenas (Bermudian Springs), Josh Stevens (Littlestown), Nile Bowser (Delone Catholic).
— Ryan Vandersloot can be reached at email@example.com