Five area soccer coaches have been selected to offer their expertise during the Santa Fund Soccer Classic, scheduled to be played under the lights at Greater Johnstown High School’s Trojan Stadium on Thursday.
The high school all-star soccer event is in its ninth year, but this will be the first time the games are held at night.
The girls game is set for 5:30 p.m., with the boys game to follow at approximately 7:30.
The contests annually feature top senior players from across The Tribune-Democrat’s coverage area.
Players and teams from area youth soccer leagues are invited to attend and be recognized on the field before the opening game.
The South Girls squad will be coached by Angie Berzonski, who guided Conemaugh Township to a District 5 Class A title and a berth in the PIAA Class A tournament. Her counterparts on the North squad will be Westmont Hilltop’s Curtis Lichtenfels and Greater Johnstown’s Gena Pentz. Lichtenfels’ Hilltoppers team earned the top seed in the District 6 Class A playoffs.
Coaching in the boys game will be Conemaugh Township’s Kelly Kramer on the South and Westmont Hilltop’s Jason Hughes, who will be leading the North. Kramer’s Indians team reached the championship of the District 5-A tournament while Hughes’ Hilltoppers wee the top seed in the 6-AA bracket and earned a share of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference title.
Teams will again be broken into north and south regions for the event.
The South Girls squad will consist of Olivia Arnold, Taylor Downs and Kiley Horne from Bedford; Kara McKenzie and Maggie Walker of Berlin Brothersvalley; Jordan Miller, Alyssa Nail and Morgan Sleek of Conemaugh Township; Casey Romus and Jamie Sarver from Johnstown Christian; Olivia Anto and Hannah Long of Ligonier Valley; Megan Thropp and Sydney Yoder from North Star; Tori Floyd of Rockwood and teammate Kaitlyn Wheatley, who is a Turkeyfoot Valley student co-opping with the Rockets program; Lilly Means and Emma Mumau from Somerset; and Windber’s Halle Bowden and Caroline McClain.
The North Girls roster features Bishop Carroll’s Maggie Kwisnek and Lexi Pompa; Abby Instone and Alaina Zasadni of Bishop McCort; Cambria County Christian’s Hope Fenchak; the Cambria Heights duo of Kelly Bassett and Maddie Getsy; Central Cambria’s Abby O’Brien and Jocelyn Wisor; Greater Johnstown’s Rebecca Cannonie and Kayle Lewis; Penn Cambria’s Madison Grove and Octavia Trice; Richland’s trio of Kendall Barron, Grace Simeone and Alexis Wesner; Ashlyn Bowers and Alaina Popovich from United, along with Grace Dryer, Lauren Kozak and Alexis Nudds from Westmont Hilltop.
The South Boys will boast a roster with Bedford’s Logan LaMarche and Seth Montgomery; Berlin Brothersvalley’s Isaac Bittner and McCauley VanGilder; Evan Brenneman and Ethan Williams from Conemaugh Township; Jarrod Fleegle and Daniel Hostetter from Johnstown Christian; Ligonier Valley’s Jacob Fry and Zeke Mariotti; North Star’s Samuel Eagleson and Austin Hribar; Rockwood’s duo of Nolan Croushore and Justin Shaffer; Somerset’s Quinn Egal and Isaac Hoyman, along with Windber’s Kobe Charney and Jacob Steinbeck.
The North Boys will see a team comprised of Bishop Carroll’s Joey Bernard and Austin Oravec; Bishop McCort’s Alec Lovejoy; Adam Carpinello and Gianni Pangano of Cambria Heights; Central Cambria’s Dylan Devlin and Ryan Hunt; Alex Constable and Max Smith from Greater Johnstown; Penn Cambria’s Wyatt Pettenati and Marty Sekerak; Richland’s Matthew Flores and Aidan Pawcio from Richland; United’s Jacob Brown and Jonathan Aloi; and Westmont Hilltop’s Joe Becker and Nick Fetzer.
The event supports The Tribune-Democrat’s Santa Fund, which provides gifts during the holidays for children whose families may be experiencing hardship.