Sage Sherk is a senior on the Annville-Cleona women’s soccer team. It’s quite simple.
But where it gets complicated is when we start talking about the position that Sherk plays.
Last year, Sherk was a striker for the Little Dutchmen. This season, she maintains the midfield. But she signed to play the goalie role at the top level, Division II Clarion University.
It all seems a bit confusing until you realize that Sherk just wants what’s best for Annville-Cleona and herself. And that these two are very related.
“For the school ball, I like midfield and playing forward,” Sherk said. “For my club team, I like the goalkeeper. I didn’t particularly like playing goalie for the high school team. It’s more fun here. I am here with my friends and classmates. In my club team, I’m always in goal.
So it could be that Sherk just loves football and all of its intricacies.
But she also wanted to play the game in college, and the best way to do that was to get exposure through her club team, the Pennsylvania Under-19 Classics in Lancaster.
“I decided to go to Clarion because I thought I could make a difference as a rookie,” Sherk said. “They saw me play once in a tournament, and they liked me the first time they saw me play. I was only recruited as a goalkeeper. When I went to visit, the coach (Alexa Ream from Clarion) told me she didn’t even know I was playing on the court.
Sherk grew up emulating her older sister, former Elco caretaker Hailey Sherk. But when Sage moved to Annville-Cleona for her second season, the Little Dutchmen already had an established keeper in the net.
“When I got here, Alyssa Ulrich was the sitter and she was good,” Sherk said. “I didn’t want the conflict. I walked in and said I was a field player. Then one day one of the coaches asked me, ‘Where do you actually play?’ I said: ‘I play the role of goalkeeper, but I want to play where the team needs me.’ We had a lot of success last year, so I thought if I played goalkeeper this year it would hurt the team.
This season, Annville-Cleona hasn’t enjoyed the kind of success they enjoyed in 2021, when Sherk scored 11 goals and a Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4-high 15 assists as a striker. With Sherk occupying the central midfield and outside midfield positions, the Little Dutchmen are currently 4-8 and ranked 19th in the District 3 power rankings for an AA ranking that takes 10 teams for its post-tournament. season.
“Every position is different, and the whole perspective in midfield is different,” Sherk said. “I think playing in goal is definitely more exhausting than people realize. You need to stay focused even when you’re not involved in everything. But one-on-ones are definitely tough.
“It’s a bit unusual in the sense that we would love to play her in goal,” Annville-Cleona head coach Jim Blouch said. “We understand that she would like to play midfield at the secondary level. She helps us a lot on the field. We struggle a bit with numbers, so we need her as an outfield player.
During the winter and spring seasons, Sherk is also an accomplished basketball player and track and field athlete in Annville-Cleona.
“She’s a very nice and good kid,” Blouch said. “It’s a pleasure to train her and pleasant to be with her. She is an asset to the team. »
It doesn’t matter what position she holds.