The 2018 boys’ soccer season was memorable one for West York junior Jake Altimore.
In more ways than one.
Altimore was one of the big reasons behind his team’s success. The junior midfielder scored nine goals while contributing four assists to help the Bulldogs go further into the district playoffs than ever before.
For his efforts, Altimore was named the York-Adams Division II Player of the Year by the coaches this season. The Division I Player of the Year was Casey Slater of South Western and the Division III Player of the Year was Nick DeMarco of York Catholic.
“Jake is an absolutely terrific kid,” West York coach Ben Reiber said. “He was a big part of the program. A strong player, not just physically, but also mentally. And that’s a reason why he’s been a captain now ever since he was a sophomore.”
The Bulldogs (17-5-2) shared both the York-Adams League Division II and league playoff crowns with rival Susquehannock (17-3-2) before claiming a thrilling triumph over the Warriors in the District 3 3-A quarterfinals.
Altimore figured that one of his teammates, or one of the Susquehannock players, were going to win the award. He just wasn’t sure which one.
To his surprise, it was him.
“To me, this is really more a team award,” he said. “I really couldn’t have asked for anything more from the boys. They worked so hard throughout the entire season and the postseason, when legs get tired and it just becomes a big mental game. And they didn’t back down.”
It wasn’t all roses for Altimore, however. Just before the half in the district quarterfinal, Altimore was battling Susquehannock’s Greyson Murray for a ball near midfield. While the junior standout doesn’t remember everything from the play, he suffered a head injury that put him on the bench for the rest of the evening as well as the semifinal loss the following week against Lower Dauphin.
“Playing without him has a big impact, obviously,” said Reiber, who was named the Division II Coach of the Year by his peers. “Against Lower Dauphin it was a struggle in the middle, and if Jake were playing he would have helped a lot.”
DeMarco gets D-III award: DeMarco had a similar moment this season while helping the Irish (15-6) advance to the District 3 1-A final. The senior midfielder missed his team’s first contest against Biglerville, a 2-1 loss in double overtime.
With DeMarco on the field for the rematch, however, the Irish were able to hold the Canners scoreless in a 3-0 victory.
When YC coach Joe Nattans broke the news to his squad about DeMarco's honor before the District 3 playoffs, the squad was beyond happy.
“Our coach got us together before we started district play,” DeMarco said. “It was right after practice, so it was great to be around my whole team. They were all cheering.”
Like Altimore, DeMarco (10 goals, six assists) was not expecting it.
“Not at all,” he said. “Honestly, they should have given it to both of (DeMarco’s teammates, Ben and Bryan Bullen). Because they played out of their minds this year. It’s great that I got it, but it was even better that (four) of my teammates were honored for the all-stars too.”
Nattans recalled that during the coaches meeting called after the season to decide on the all-star teams that he didn’t even have to say a word before DeMarco’s name was discussed.
“The other coaches from the division nominated him,” Nattans said. “I didn’t even have to nominate him, not that I wouldn’t have, but there were two or three coaches that, when they were asked who they thought should be player of the year, that Nick was the first name they mentioned.”
Soccer wasn’t the only sport in which DeMarco earned accolades from the coaches. The senior was also named as the top punter and kicker in Division III for the unbeaten York Catholic football team that won the District 3 2-A title.
Slater honored in D-I: Slater’s honor was certainly a long time coming for the South Western senior standout, whose team finished with an 11-4-4 mark and a second-place finish in Division I behind Red Lion (11-5-1).
It was only a little more than a year ago that the Mustang standout’s season was ended after suffering an injury in a contest against Central York.
“I was just really happy,” Slater said. “Because last year I was going through everything and it was just really hard. So I came back even harder this year.”
Slater broke his tibia and fibula on the play, but was cleared to resume playing shortly before tryouts began in August. It was anything but a cakewalk for him to just be able to play competitive on the field.
“I worked my butt of just to get to this point,” said Slater, who tallied 11 goals and 15 assists for the season. “I only was able to start practicing about six months ago, but it has just all paid off.”
Red Lion's Mike Watt was the Coach of the Year in D-I, while Biglerville's Jebb Nelson was honored in D-II. Red Lion won the D-I regular-season title at 10-1-1. Biglerville was 16-5-1 overall and won the D-III championship at 13-1.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.
YORK-ADAMS BOYS' SOCCER ALL-STAR TEAMS
Player of the Year: Casey Slater, South Western
Coach of the Year: Mike Watt, Red Lion
Michael Nelson, Central York
Leo Garcia, Dallastown
Bennett Pitzer, Dallastown
Gabe Wunderlich, Dallastown
Issac Farmer, New Oxford
Noah Hartzfeld, Northeastern
Antonio Damian, Northeastern
Josh Sanderson, Northeastern
Brody Patmore, Red Lion
Eli Storck, Red Lion
Ethan Stough, Red Lion
Sean Quinn, South Western
Ryan Balanda, Central York
Carmen Ridolfi, Dallastown
Alex Afata, Northeastern
Branden Ebersole, Red Lion
Michael Moffitt, Red Lion
Dean Haynes, Red Lion
Johnny Hill, Spring Grove
Zach Speranzella, Spring Grove
Sam Piatt, South Western
Spencer Wells, South Western
Joe Stephenson, South Western
Player of the Year: Jake Altimore, West York
Coach of the Year: Ben Reiber, West York
Luis Herazo, Dover
Gavin Donnelly, Eastern York
Cade Wilhelm, Gettysburg
Kevin Avalos, Kennard-Dale
Griffin Kaifer, Susquehannock
Ben Wilson, Susquehannock
Nolan Holloway, Susquehannock
Aidan Clark, West York
Alex McClellan, West York
Parker Lando, York Suburban
Devin Crone, Dover
Isaac Barrow, Eastern York
Hunter Martin, Gettysburg
Logan Carbaugh, Gettysburg
Logan Coomes, Kennard-Dale
Greyson Murray, Susquehannock
Nathan Weldon, Susquehannock
Jack Langstaff, West York
Noah Murray, West York
Liam Waterbury, York Suburban
Cody Willaghby, York Suburban
Player of the Year: Nick DeMarco, York Catholic
Coach of the Year: Jebb Nelson, Biglerville
Cole King, Bermudian Springs
Jhonatan Hernandez, Bermudian Springs
Noah Mattson, Biglerville
Carlos Castillo, Biglerville
Jorge Cervantes, Biglerville
Lazaro Salazar, Biglerville
Patrick Prury, Fairfield
Ethan Higgins, York Catholic
Bryan Bullen, York Catholic
Ben Bullen, York Catholic
Maverick Knowles, Bermudian Springs
Tyler Kuykendall, Bermudian Springs
Danny Chavarrio, Biglerville
Noah Roeder, Delone Catholic
Brian Sanchez, Hanover
Eric Ball, Fairfield
Nate Snyder, Fairfield
Lucca Abate, Littlestown
Cooper Browning, Littlestown
Sean Lavallee, York Catholic
Yair Rodriguez, York High