The 2021 boys’ soccer season was a landmark one for the Biglerville program.
The Canners put together a remarkable 18-0 regular season to cruise to a YAIAA Division 3 championship. They then went on to reach the YAIAA Tournament finals, including a semifinal victory over Division 1 champ Dallastown.
While Biglerville’s season was eventually brought to an untimely end by Oley Valley in the District 3 Class 2A playoffs, it didn’t end without receiving due recognition. Senior defender Charles Zavala was named Division 3’s co-player of the year alongside Littlestown’s all-time leading goalscorer, Josh Blose, by YAIAA head coaches.
Zavala was immense in defense for the Canners, helping his team to nine shutouts in the regular season and a further two more in the league tournament.
“He was extremely important to us,” Canners’ coach Jebb Nelson said of Zavala. “I think in the league we only allowed three goals while he was on the field and for the entire regular season it was only seven.”
Zavala was a physical and vocal leader, organizing the team’s back line. Nelson said that by the time the postseason rolled around, teams would often not even try to breach Zavala’s side of the defense, often playing to the other side or taking shots from distance.
“He was definitely like the foundation for us,” Nelson said. “He’s a teacher on the field. Last year, I know he did a bicycle kick about quarter of the way into the season and got injured and missed most of the season. That was big for us, and even when he did play it was clear he wasn’t able to do much.”
Nelson said that Zavala, as well as fellow first-team all-stars Emanuel Esquivias, Isiah Kuykendall and Cameron Tyson were part of a group that was instrumental to a significant year for the Canners.
“It was a huge year for the program,” he said. “To beat a school like Dallastown, a giant in the county, to get into the district final, that says a lot for our little school.”
As for Blose, his senior season was a continuation of what had already been a standout career. He scored 28 goals to go along with seven assists to lead the Thunderbolts to the playoffs. His two goals in the opening-round game against Oley Valley were the only goals in program history in the district tournament.
The senior wrapped up his career with a program-record 54 goals, as well as seven assists for a total of 119 points, which was also a program record.
“Well, he’s been the vast majority of the goal-scoring, but more than that he’s just the undisputed leader of the team,” Littlestown coach Brett Powell said. “All in all, he’s just been super important to the program.”
After a breakout season as a junior, Blose became a marked man, both literally and figuratively for the Bolts. Powell said he used that attention to become a more well-rounded player and create opportunities for teammates.
“As teams man-marked him, sometimes with even two players, he had to be willing to adapt and draw players away toward him,” Powell said. “He learned how to be a complete player and not just score goals and not just receive the ball every time.”
Blose’s unselfish play helped him create chances for others, like fellow first-team all-star Diego Guzman. But it also helped take pressure off a Littlestown program that was striving to reach new heights.
“It allows the team to relax a bit and not feel like if we went down a goal we had a mountain to climb,” Powell said of Blose’s presence. “We didn’t need to create a million chances, we just needed one and knew there was a good chance it would go in.”
Blose, Guzman and company led the Bolts to an 11-6-2 record and a season that helped bring energy to an emerging Littlestown program.
“The goal has always been to keep improving and hoping that the hard work they put in during the offseason would pay off and it has,” Powell said of the team’s success. “It’s the first year that it felt like that the community was fully invested in our soccer program and that was pretty cool to see. Because it was some pretty good soccer and some pretty entertaining soccer to watch.”
Contact Clay Sauertieg at firstname.lastname@example.org
YAIAA Boys’ Soccer Coaches’
Co-Players of the Year: Zander Leik (Dallastown) Caleb Snyder (Northeastern)
Coach of the Year: Eric Shoemaker (Northeastern)
First Team: Tyler Wood (Red Lion), Dylan Crouse (South Western), Jonathan Stebick (South Western), Jaeger James (Dover), Caleb Snyder (Northeastern), Jaysen Cook (Northeastern), Brian Warcholak (Northeastern), Brandon Shirk (Northeastern), Zander Leik (Dallastown), Kaden Kashner (Dallastown), Jacob Morouse (Dallastown), Ty Mazzarella (Dallastown), Carlos Rivas (Dallastown), Logan Hicks (Central York), Nate Kimball (Central York), Holger Lozano (Central York), Aris Corcuera (York High), Lucas Salemme (Spring Grove)
Second Team: Sean Cutti (Red Lion), Brandon Monath (Red Lion), Ben Weinstein (Red Lion), Nathan Smith (South Western), Kyle Snyder (South Western), D’Alessandro Salazar (South Western), Evan Jennings (Northeastern), Sam Walter (Northeastern), Aiden Keja (Dallastown), Owen Peri (Dallastown), Connor Wivagg (Central York), Tyler Mummert (Central York), Salvador Alegria (York High), James Molina (York High), Blake Wagman (Spring Grove), Mitch Aughenbaugh (Spring Grove)
Player of the Year: Fallou Cisse (Susquehanock)
Coach of the Year: Matt Logue (Kennard-Dale)
First Team: Fallou Cisse (Susquehannock), Ashton Murray (Susquehannock), Abass Ndiaye (Susquehanock), Dylan Logue (Kennard-Dale), Levi Sharnetzka (Kennard-Dale), Ty Pridgen (York Suburban), Pete Papadiamantis (York Suburban), Ryan Butler (York Suburban), Harvin Flowers (New Oxford), Francisco Sandoval (Gettysburg), Malachi Abma (Gettysburg
Second Team: Scott Dennis (Susquehannock), Jake Wetzel (Susquehannock), Garrett Wilson (Susquehannock), Gavin Smyser (West York), Ben Geller (West York), Ethan Smyser (West York), Terry Addey (West York), Jonah Brainard (Gettysburg), Lucas Oberholtzer-Hess (Gettysburg), Zach Orwig (Kennard-Dale), Dylan Fissel (New Oxford), Erich McDaniel (New Oxford), Miguel Salazar (New Oxford), Jake McCarthy (Eastern York), Nathan Guillaume (Eastern York), Hunter Brady (Eastern York)
Co-Players of the Year: Charles Zavala (Biglerville), Josh Blose (Littlestown)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Eric Ball (Fairfield)
First Team: Josh Blose (Littlestown), Charles Zavala (Biglerville), Eric Ball (Fairfield), Emanuel Esquivias (Biglerville), Isiah Kuykendall (Biglerville), Cameron Tyson (Biglerville) Nate Snyder (Fairfield), Chaz Kline (Fairfield), Diego Guzman (Littlestown), Andrew Gervasi (Delone Catholic), Aidan Groves (Delone Catholic), Kyle Kuykendall (Bermudian Springs), Tazaran Grifo (Bermudian Springs), Cameron Carrolus (Bermudian Springs), Nathan Anthony (York Catholic
Second Team: Jesus Salazar-Ruelas (Biglerville), Jack Regentin (Biglerville), Juan Garcia (Biglerville), Ciaran Phalen (Fairfield), Jack Ogle (Fairfield), Zach Oswald (Fairfield), Israel Felipe (Bermudian Springs), Lucas Snyder (Bermudian Springs), Daniel Corbin (Hanover), Aidan Kenworthy (Hanover), Christopher Meakin (Littlestown), Trevor Morningstar (Littlestown), Asher Clarke (York Catholic), Ryan Oathout (York Catholic), Will DiDio (Delone Catholic), Wyatt DiDio (Delone Catholic)