PUNXSUTAWNEY — When Punxsy junior Tyler Presloid received the news that he was named the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League Boys' Central Division Most Valuable Player, he was quite surprised.
"This is a huge honor because there are a lot of good players in the league," Presloid said. "To be named MVP, I'm just speechless."
Those around the league can't be the least bit shocked about the honor, as the junior set the PAHS single-season school record with 25 goals and led the Chucks to a 15-4-1 record and their first-ever District IX Class AA Championship Game berth.
Adding to that, the forward displayed amazing ball skills, had the ability to make plays all over the field, and had one of the strongest legs in the league.
Punxsy head coach Phil Shenkle said that it was more than just Presloid's goals scored and assists dished out that made him an MVP. Some players in the league may have scored more goals, but Presloid had an all-around game that rivaled all other players in the district.
"He's absolutely invaluable," Punxsy head coach Phil Shenkle said. "Tyler was still getting a lot of attention from the defense even if he didn't score anything, which just helps everybody else out."
When Presloid stepped onto the field as a freshman in 2008, it was clear how talented of a soccer player he was. What led to his advancing to an MVP-type level was his work ethic.
"I've always strived to be the best, and I'm just glad all my hard work has paid off," Presloid said.
Shenkle said that Presloid could play on defense or at midfield, but that his scoring and assisting ability made him a clear forward. However, with the Chucks ahead by a few goals during one game this season, Shenkle allowed him to play fullback for part of a game, and he still was a factor in another Punxsy score.
"Once, (as a defender), he dribbled all the way from the back and had an assist," Shenkle said. "He can play any position on the field."
Additionally, his modesty and character not only helped him get better day-to-day, but it also helped the team.
"Some teams will have players that are very good and know they are very good. That's not Tyler. He's a nice kid," Shenkle said. "He wants to win every game and score every goal, but he gets just as excited if somebody else scores."
Considering his ability, Presloid said he has received some ribbing from his cousin, Khris Cleary — a 2008 PAHS graduate who was the record holder with 17 goals. Presloid blew Cleary's mark away by scoring 25 times this season.
"I wanted to the set the record since I was a freshman," Presloid said. "Finally breaking it is a huge relief and huge accomplishment."
The Chucks are coming off their best season, and so is Presloid. Entering his senior year in 2011, Presloid's MVP season may be only the tip of the iceberg on what he and the team can achieve.