Orchard Park boys soccer coach Bill Selent knows what role star Jim Wellington had in the Quakers' return to prominence the last two years. Without Wellington, a berth in this year's Class A final would have been unthinkable.
"He makes a smart coach out of you," Selent said of Wellington, the marquee name on the 1990 Coaches All-Western New York
Team. "I've never seen speed combined with such intensity. There aren't many Jim Wellingtons in a coaching career."
In addition to his All-WNY choice, the leader of the Quakers' defense is garnering more honors. He is the first Section VI player in at least six years to be named first-team all-state and has been named third-team all-East by the National Coaches Association.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Wellington led the Quakers in scoring each of the last three years, netting 23 goals this season. One of three repeat All-WNY picks, he was a co-captain the last two seasons.
"The condition of the game dictated where we needed him, either at defense or midfield," Selent explained. "He never complained. He just went out and performed."
Wellington's early college choices include Ohio State and the University at Buffalo, but Selent said a decision could be several months away.
Wellington leads a 15-man team comprised of 13 seniors. Also earning repeat nods on the first team are Clarence goalkeeper Dave Case and North Collins forward Aaron Teijeira.
Class B champion Lewiston-Porter is the only school to have three players on the first team. Class A winner Sweet Home, D winner North Collins and Williamsville East have two each. The squad was selected by a panel of area coaches.
Case was the MVP for the Red Devils, posting an 0.94 goals-against average. The three-year varsity player had a career-high six shutouts in 1989.
Joining Wellington on defense are Williamsville East's Eric Shapiro, Lew-Port's Rick Sweeney and North Collins' Guy Bauer.
Shapiro, a standout at sweeper, is noted for his ability to use the header in both the offensive and defensive zones. Sweeney, a three-year starter, had 10 of his 14 career goals this season. Bower, who may be headed for the University of Connecticut, had 15 of his 41 career goals and 21 of his 62 assists this season.
The midfielders are Lew-Port's Kevin Carter, Nichols' Ned Franz, Sweet Home's Jon Plezia, Williamsville North's Nathan Kampas and Williamsville South's Matt Nisbet.
Carter, who co-captained the Lancers with Sweeney, had four goals and 15 assists this year, his third on the varsity. Franz was the standout on a Nichols team that fell just short -- by a one-goal loss to Lew-Port -- of winning the Niagara Frontier League title. He has been a three-sport athlete (soccer, wrestling, lacrosse) for three years and tri-captained the soccer team.
Plezia controlled the midfield for Sweet Home and scored 21 goals, showing outstanding shot control with either foot. Kampas, who helped direct the graduation-depleted Spartans to an ECIC Division II title, was one of the area's better tactical players from the midfield. St. Bonaventure, Fredonia State and Geneseo State are among the interested. Nisbet led South with 16 goals, including a pair of game-winners in the sectionals. The three-year varsity starter netted seven of his tallies off free kicks.
At forward, Teijeira led North Collins to its fifth straight Section VI Class D title by scoring 33 goals. He finished his career (one year at St. Francis and two at North Collins) with 103 goals and may take his booming shot to Fredonia State. Joining him at forward are Sweet Home's Tom Barbopoulos, Lew-Port's Chris Alex, Frontier's Shawn Clancy and Williamsville East's Chris Kopp.
Barbopoulos tied Teijeira for the Western New York lead with 33 goals this season, setting school records for a single season and career (64). One of his tallies gave Sweet Home the lead for good in overtime during its 6-4 Class A final win over Orchard Park.
Alex, a two-year starter, led Lew-Port this year with 21 of his 29 career goals. Clancy rebounded from a 1989 knee injury to score 17 goals in his third varsity season at Frontier. He hopes to attend Geneseo State. Kopp parlayed superior ballhandling skills into 21 goals and 12 assists while captaining the Flames.
Among other all-state picks, Barbopoulos was named to the third team, Case and Sweeney repeat picks
were fourth-team choices and Carter was an honorable mention pick. On the All-East team, Barbopoulos was named to the sixth team and Case to the seventh.
JCC to host mat tourney
The first major tournament of the wrestling season is this weekend, when the Southern Tier Officials Tournament is staged at Jamestown Community College.
About 30 teams are expected for the event, which opens at 1 p.m. Friday. Preliminaries continue at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the consolation brackets at 6 p.m. and the finals at 8. All-session passes are $7 for adults and $4 for students. Single-session admissions are $3 and $1.50, respectively.
Many of the area's top teams are expected to compete, including Falconer and Southwestern. Falconer returns eight wrestlers who qualified for last year's Section VI finals, tied with Pioneer for the most of any school. Southwestern returns six, and joins Pioneer and Niagara Falls as the only schools to return two top-four finishers.
Top two scorers to duel
A duel between the top two scorers in the WNY Varsity Hockey Federation highlights this week's schedule.
St. Joe's and St. Francis battle at 4 p.m. Saturday at Leisure Rinks in a game showcasing St. Joe's' Ken Kwasniewski and St. Francis' Chris Obstarczyk. Through four games, Kwasniewski leads the league with 16 points (eight goals, eight assists), while Obstarczyk is second with 5-7-12. At 8:30 tonight, St. Francis plays Canisius at Audubon.
Timon (4-0) continues to lead the league, while St. Joe's, St. Francis and Canisius are all 3-1. Timon, which meets Williamsville East at 6:30 tonight at Leisure, has allowed only three goals in four games as goaltender Ron Pacholczak has posted an 0.93 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.