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Boys soccer

Upperclassmen lead Pennridge past Quakertown in season opener

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Pennridge hasn’t forgotten last season.
The Rams had their finest season in school history since 1988 that ended in the state playoffs, but it was their controversial defeat in the District One 4A championships that still has haunted them.
The Rams lost on penalty kicks, however, they had an apparent game-winning goal wiped off due to a controversial encroachment call.
Pennridge plans to use the past as a motivation for this season, and the Rams took the first step in a recent 5-0 victory over Quakertown in the season opener for both clubs.
“That game is one that we definitely won’t forget, and it will be in the back of our minds this year,” said Pennridge head coach Pete Valimont. “We did lose some good people from last year.
“On paper, we look pretty good. We have 28 guys on the roster and that’s the second biggest that I have had. We have seven starters back, and we have five guys who saw some significant time.”
Against Quakertown, senior Jared Hess tallied a pair of goals, and seniors Jake Saville, Jeff Stritzl and junior Shane Velez added solo goals. Junior goalie CJ Dimmick had a solid day in the nets.
“Dimmick was a big key for us down the stretch last year, and he should be one of the best goalies in the league,” added Valimont. “Defensively, we have three starters back, and we have people who can score.

“Aiden Castle is a midfielder and he easily is one of the three fastest kids in the league. If we can stay healthy and keep our kids eligible, we can have a good run.”
At Quakertown, first-year head coach Bill James is working through a transition year from a 3-10 team last year.
“They had the better of us,” noted James. “They had four good goals, and we let one in at the end.
“We have a large group of freshmen and sophomores, but we have a group of confident young players. We have a really impressive sophomore class. They will get better.”
James will look to senior co-captain Micah Reinford, along with seniors Cody Steiert, Kurt Glaeser, Kaiden McSeed and sophomore Carter Tull to help set the pace.
Senior goalie Riley Gaj was a first-team Suburban One League Liberty Division choice last year.
James knows the importance of being patient.
“We feel like we have a good core,” he said. “We’re a young team, and it will take time. But we feel we can be a better team as the season goes along.”


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