Goetz squad celebrates its championship season

By Mike White
Staff Writer

By Mike White
Staff Writer

JACKSON — Goetz Middle School boys’ soccer coach Ken Sims believes in patience. For the past seven years Sims watched as his team challenged for a divisional title, only to pull up short. The wait is over.

Goetz Middle School recently concluded an outstanding season by winning the Blue Division of the Ocean County Intermediate School Athletic Association. Goetz posted a divisional record of 6-0-2 to capture the title for the first time since Sims has taken over the program.

"The kids were really excited," said Sims, whose squad finished with an overall mark of 9-1-4. "This is probably one of the most skilled teams I’ve had since I’ve taken over. We have a lot of talented players who worked extremely hard."

Goetz recently held its annual soccer awards banquet. Eighth-grader Keith Uricks received the team’s Most Valuable Player award. Sims praised his skill and leadership.

"Without a question he is the guy who made us go," Sims said. "He had a great year for us. He does so many things well. He was a great leader on defense. He made the unit gel."

Eighth-grader Gill Komninos received the Don Connor Award, given to the player who demonstrates academic excellence and leadership skills.

Komninos was the team’s assist leader with eight.

"He was our quarterback," Sims said. "He did a good job as a center midfielder for us. He got the ball to our scorers around the goal."

Andrew Allen, an eighth-grader, was given the Sportsmanship Award.

"He is the kind of kid who is a coach’s dream," Sims said.

"He has good skills, plays hard and will do whatever is asked of him. We used him in a variety of roles and he filled all of them well."

The Outstanding Offensive Player Award went to Matt Lencewicz, an eighth-grader. Lencewicz was the team’s leading scorer with 12 goals.

"He had a nose for the goal," Sims said. "He has good speed and the ability to get a shot off quickly."

Joe Aletta, another eighth-grader, was Goetz’s other scoring threat. Aletta, who led Goetz in scoring as a seventh-grader, finished with seven goals.

"A lot of teams were keying on him this year," Sims said. "That opened the door for other players on our team to do some scoring."

The Most Improved Player Award was given to Danny Erdman, a fullback.

"We used Danny on offense, as well," Sims said. "He worked very hard at improving his skills. It is remarkable how much better he got in a year. He is a dedicated player."

Mike Guilfoyle, an eighth-grader, received the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award. Guilfoyle missed most of last season due to a knee injury. He returned this year to help lead a defense that allowed on average less than one goal per game.

"He was the guy we looked to when we had to stop another team’s best offensive threat," Sims said.

"He was our marking defender. He did a solid job of shutting down some of the better offensive players in the league."

Goalkeeper Alex Morgans is just one of a talented group of seventh-graders. Morgans, a transfer student, recorded five shutouts, Sims said.

"He is cat-like in the net," Sims said. "He has good hands and feet. He reads offenses and situations well. We’re lucky to have him coming back next year. Our future looks bright."

Seventh-graders Tito Nurudeen and Chuck Calhoun will be looked to to anchor the defense next season

Sixth-grader Alex Komninos used an aggressive style to earn plenty of playing time.

"We’re going to have another solid team next year," Sims said. "There is a lot of talent returning."