1993 All-carroll County Boys Soccer Team

November 25, 1993|By Glenn Graham

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Lee Kestler, Liberty -- Some coaches would be satisfied with the 7-6-1 season the Liberty Lions had in 1992, which included an upset win over Middletown in the region semifinals. That simply wasn't the case for Kestler.

After not winning the county title for the first time in three years, the Lions responded with a near-flawless 10-0-2 regular season in 1993. Through all the ups and downs that come up throughout a season, Kestler found a way to keep his Lions on an even keel, and even when they weren't on their game they still managed to stay unbeaten.

A fine season came to an end in the region finals when Middletown got its revenge with a 2-0 win. Middletown eventually won the Class 2A state title.

Kestler and the Lions had to deal with much more than winning soccer games before the season got started when one of their own -- Anthony Omelio -- was killed in an automobile accident over the summer. The Lions dealt with the tragic setback by dedicating what turned out to be a stellar season to Omelio.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Josh Gursky, Liberty, Sr. -- Going into the 1993 season, the only varsity experience Gursky had in goal for the Lions was last season when coach Lee Kestler cleared the bench on senior night. After the stellar season Gursky enjoyed in goal for the county champ Lions this season, you would think he had played the position all his life.

Gursky came up big for the Lions time and time again, always making the saves he should and other times getting to balls that definitely appeared headed for the back of the net. "I wasn't sure what to expect from him going in, but he was real good from Day 1," said Kestler. "The kid came into all 14 matches with the same kind of intensity. There were times when we came out sloppy and he carried us."

Gursky was the difference in the Lions' win over North Hagerstown in the region semifinals. The Lions played sluggishly for most of the way, but his big saves kept them close and they eventually got the offense going to advance.

The Lions were often on the brink of getting beat during their unbeaten regular season, but Gursky often carried them during stretches of games to allow them to regroup. Glenelg fired 14 shots at him in the first half, but he came up with nine saves during the period and the Lions came up with a 1-0 win.

ALL-COUNTY FIRST TEAM

* Art Crouse, North Carroll, Sr., Midfield -- Possibly the most talented field player in the county, Crouse was the heart and soul of the Panthers. Crouse, a first-team All-Central Maryland Conference selection, has no weaknesses and can do it all with both flash and grit. He finished the season with two goals and three assists for the 3-9 Panthers.

* Jason Dunbar, Liberty, Sr., Midfield -- He carried the Lions offensively, particularly in the early portion of the season, and finished the regular season with a county-leading nine goals and five assists. Dunbar scored many of his goals off of head balls and also hurt teams with rocket shots from 20-plus yards out. A solid two-way player with great touch, Dunbar played with finesse and also could dominate physically.

* Scott Ensor, South Carroll, Jr., Defense -- A repeat first-team selection, Ensor carried over a fine sophomore season into his junior year. He mostly played wing fullback for the Cavs and did it in steady fashion. His strong ball-handling ability enabled the Cavs to work the ball out from the back. He finished the season with two goals and also was a first-team All-Central Maryland Conference pick.

PTC

* Travis Foote, Liberty, Sr., Defense -- A fixture in the Lions' defensive corps the past four years, it will be strange not seeing Foote at sweeper next season. The leader of a senior-laden Liberty team that went unbeaten in the regular season, Foote did all the things you look for in a sweeper. A smart player who covered up mistakes well, Foote was simply a steady influence as anchor of the Lions' defense.

* Aaron Goldman, Westminster, Sr., Midfield -- A defensive midfielder, Goldman still finished the season as the Owls' leading scorer with five goals. A versatile player with good all-around skills and a team leader as co-captain, Goldman was a first-team All-Central Maryland Conference selection.

* Mike Haight, South Carroll, Sr., Defense -- He moved from midfield to sweeper for the Cavaliers midway through the season and didn't miss a beat. A smooth player who knows the game well, Haight took control of the Cavs' defense with a lot of poise.

* Jason Hewett, Westminster, Jr., Attack -- Hewett drew a lot of attention and respect by opposing defenses and is a repeat first-team selection. He has great moves and a quick first step with the ball. He has a great feel for the game and makes great decisions on when to dribble, pass or shoot. He finished the season with two goals and two assists.

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