The Bellefonte boys’ soccer team had another solid season this year, posting an 11-2-1 record before falling in the district final against Hollidaysburg. But what led to their strong season was the brilliant and skillful play of Brady Wertz, which led to much success from the rest of his team. Undoubtedly, the Raiders put in a great performance as a collective team, but Wertz’s speed and skill at getting into goal was special. As a result, Wertz was named the 2022 Lock Haven Express Player of the Year.
“I was very proud of the year that Brady spent” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “Coming into the season I knew he could score, but he really stepped up more than I thought. He’s done an amazing job scoring with his header this season.
What led to Wertz’s success this season has a lot to do with his teammates, but his manager also recognizes his willingness to score, especially when the team needed it most. Wertz scored 27 goals in the 14 matches he appeared in.
“Brady’s scoring efficiency has been a huge help to our team’s success this year,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “There were games tied or down 1, he knew that and knew what we needed and took it upon himself to take care of business and find a way to score for us.”
One element that made Wertz’s game so special to watch this year was his determination. Every minute of action Wertz saw on the pitch he was determined to pursue. The Raiders had several guys capable of getting the ball in the net and scoring, but Wertz’s improvement on his technical skills in the offseason has contributed to his goalscoring this season, and it’s clearly shown.
“I saw something in Brady this year that I had never seen before, (that is) his determination. He used his speed, which is an integral part of his game. His footwork got better and he worked on his shot to keep it on the ground and on the frame and when he was on the double team he found his teammates to set them up.
It’s clear that Wertz was the leader of the Raiders’ success this season in the statistical category – and his teammates and coaches recognize that. But the Mountain League Junior MVP’s success this season has put him on the map, and other teams now have him on radar. Next season, his teammates will be more important than ever. In his final season as a Raider, this will only allow him and his teammates to return to the District Finals and win the title.
“I think his success on the pitch this year will give him a lot of confidence for next season. I think he will have to step up his game more than ever next season because of his success this year. Teams will be interested in him, but he will also have to prepare his teammates more, which will free him in the long run.
FIRST TEAM STARS
NICK BELLOMO, JERSEY SHORE, FORWARD
The eldest has had a spectacular season, leading the Bulldogs in goals this season with just over a goal per game. Nick has always been a threat to opposing teams. He had 18 goals, four assists and 42 points in his final season at Jersey Shore.
CARTER STACKHOUSE, JERSEY SHORE, FRONT
Stackhouse played in all 16 games this season and had 12 points for the Bulldogs. The elder has scored four goals and four assists this season but made plenty of crucial plays when teammate Nick Bellomo defended well.
Breon was a driving force and a big helping hand when the Wildcats desperately needed to score. When the pressure was on teammate Peyton Jones, Breon stepped in when the attention wasn’t on him and added points for the Wildcats. When the Wildcats hit their midseason winning streak, Breon and Jones carried the charge up front.
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN, FRONT
Brinker is the one who came on strong at the end of the season. The sophomore put up some good numbers late in the season and near the start of the season he helped the Wildcats pass balls to his teammates.
JEREMIAH ONDRASIK, BELLEFONTE, MIDFIELDER
Ondrasik was a solid middleman for the Raiders this season. The elder provided plenty of defensive help to the Raiders when they needed it. But more importantly, he helped the Raiders score goals and had plenty of shots on goal and assists for Bellefonte’s 11-2-1 side.
Gadsby, similar to Ondrasik, helped stagger and keep opponents on their heels in terms of who scored for the Raiders. Gadsby’s play against Ondrasik and Wertz kept defenders honest and Gadsby caught his opponents off guard to help provide 14 assists for his teammates.
PEYTON JONES, CENTRAL MOUNTAIN, MIDFIELDER
Jones, along with Brinker and Breon, have teamed up to be the three key players who have held the Wildcats front line together. In games where the Wildcats needed to score, Jones took a lot of shots and converted or assisted on many of their points. During their winning streak, Jones scored at least one goal or assist in the games they won.
ISAIAH REIBSON, JERSEY SHORE, DEFENDER
Along with his fullback partner Peter Bellomo, Reibson made many crucial saves on balls just outside the goal or within 20 yards of goal. The combination of Reibson, Peter and goaltender Fishel kept the teams out of the net for most of the season. Reibson’s speed and talent for getting interceptions led the junior to nine points and five assists.
The Raiders haven’t given up many points this season. In fact, Bellefonte only gave up three points in a singular match, which was a double OT match. Seibel played a huge role in this as he and his teammates made many crucial plays near the tackle box to keep the balls out.
PETER BELLOMO, JERSEY SHORE, DEFENDER
Peter’s excellent defense kept many forwards from approaching the net. At times, his shrewd moves and approach to staying on the ball gave opposing forwards nowhere to go and often left them confused. The senior PHAC Division 1 star played in all 16 games and even scored two goals for the Bulldogs in his final season.
CAMERON FISHEL, JERSEY SHORE, GOALKEEPER
Fishel has achieved phenomenal numbers as a Bulldogs goaltender. He had four shutouts and 76 saves for a Shore team that went 12-4 and saw its season halted ahead of a district championship. In their last District game against Selinsgrove, Fishel recorded six saves, above his average of just under five per game.
F–Owen Farr, Jersey Shore
F–Peyton Welshans, Jersey Shore
F–Andrew Ream, BEA
M–Asher Talbot, CM
M–Connor Maney, BEA
M–Parker Quick, BEA
D–Braylon Gentzel, CM
D–Tate Tooker, Bellefonte
D–Isaiah Brinker, CM
GK–Elijah Davis, Bellefonte