PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Most Valuable Player Tyler Presloid wasn't the only member of the Chucks to be selected as an Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League Boys' Central Division All-Star.
After the Chucks broke the school record for wins in a season and claimed their first-ever postseason victory, Presloid was joined by senior Kody Young and junior Daniel Triponey as Punxsy players recognized by the league.
Young, a forward, was the ying to Presloid's yang, scoring the second-most PAHS goals on the season, following just Presloid. He was also one of Punxsy's leaders in assists, as he was part of nearly every Chucks' run toward a goal this year.
Young provided the grit and determination that helped Punxsy be successful this season. Also, considering his scoring ability, he was a decoy even if he wasn't the player taking the shot.
"His absolute desire to win every battle within the game â€” that's not something that's teachable," Shenkle said. "Whether or not he gets the goals, he's getting a ton of attention. Sometimes, the goalie was so worried about Kody that he lost track of the ball."
Young's toughness and desire to get after it on a consistent basis has rubbed off on his teammates, as Shenkle has noticed other members of the Chucks trying to duplicate what Young brought to the program.
"I think Kody's going to leave a little bit of a legacy. Some of the other guys took note of how he played," Shenkle said. "They're striving to be tougher and the grinder like Kody is."
Shenkle referenced freshmen Tanner Evans and Brycen Lunger, saying that "if they can combine that skill with that (Kody's) kind of motor, they could be great players."
Another freshman, Kevin Hughes, noted that someone has to replace what Young brought to the team, and that he'd like it to be him.
"They recognize Kody's value," Shenkle said.
Triponey, Punxsy's first-year varsity keeper, led a Chucks' defense that didn't give up much this year. Late in the year, while the Chucks were completing their undefeated home schedule, they went five-straight games without allowing a non-penalty kick goal.
Triponey didn't have much experience in goal, but Punxsy knew they needed to find a spot on the field for him. He wasn't very interested in playing in the field, so keeper was a natural fit for him, considering his leaping ability due to a basketball background.
"Dan's raw athleticism was able to get him to the top of every list," Shenkle said. "He was a standout as far as decision-making."
Triponey's All-Star honor can be attributed to the Chucks' defense just as much as their keeper. But even if he didn't get many opportunities to make a save due to dominant defense this season, Triponey still stood out.
"They (Punxsy's defense) did such a nice job," Shenkle said. "It speaks for the defense, and it also speaks for Dan that he gets noticed in spite of the defense in front of him."View more articles in: