Bethel Park boys lacrosse chasing section title

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Saturday, May 8, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Bethel Park’s boys lacrosse team is trying to make up for lost time.

“Missing last season has been difficult for our program to handle,” coach Tim Schreiber said. “We had a loaded class of seniors who were ready for a run at the section and WPIAL championship. It was devastating to see their season taken away before it got started; it will always be a ‘what if’ moment for them.

“I think with all the covid issues, it was hard to set specific expectations for this season. Our goals every year are to win the section championship and compete for the WPIAL championship, but it was hard to think of a path of how to make those goals happen this year with so many variables being unknown.”

Through May 1, the Black Hawks were 7-4 as members of Section 1-AAA.

“I believe the team has done a great job of being coachable and being flexible with schedule and lineup changes,” Schreiber said. “The boys have had a great attitude and have really exceeded our coaching staff’s expectations.”

The team’s gameday rotation consists of Alex Greene, Matt Kopp and Kyle Mattola at the attack position; midfielders Justin Wodarek, Troy Volpatti, Kelton Kramer, Max Radcliffe and Alex Remington; defensive midfielders Jason Muench and Dylan Fusca; defensemen Nate Yoder, Grant Eckert, Dylan Wentz and Robbie Abraham; and goalie Owen Peters.

Wodarek, a senior, Volpatti and Peters, both juniors, have been catalysts for the Black Hawks. Wodarek (22) and Volpatti (26) accounted for 48 goals between them.

“The varsity lacrosse program has been doing great in my eyes,” Wodarek said. “We’ve really come together as a true unit this year. We have talent and a lot of athleticism among the guys. We have risen above expectations I had at the beginning of the season, and we plan on bringing home a championship.

“We plan on getting a banner in the school’s main gymnasium, so that means a section championship. We also strive to not only be the best players we can be, but we truly strive to be the best individuals we can be.”

Wodarek is in his first full season as a varsity starter. He was a letterman as a sophomore.

“I just need to stress that this year’s team is like no other ever to come through Bethel,” Wodarek said. “The diversity and hardships we’ve faced would probably put some down, for sure. We’ve overcame all the obstacles and took them head on.

“I’m so proud to be a part of the lacrosse team. The coaches, players, staff, everyone (involved) have helped in some way to shape me to become the young man I am today. I’m grateful for everyone whose been a part of the journey, and it’s not over yet. We have a lot more work to do.”

Off the field, Wodarek is in the process of choosing a college to attend in the fall.

“My plan and dreams are to play lacrosse at the next level, get a degree in kinesiology, then hopefully become a chiropractor,” he said.

Although the Black Hawks have looked strong this season, they are doing so with less players than in previous years.

“Another way the shutdown (in 2020) has affected our program and many others is through participation numbers,” Schreiber said. “The past five years, our JV/varsity roster size has been steadily climbing and we had over 55 boys for the 2020 season. We started 2021 with 40 on the roster.”

Schreiber grew up in Shaler and started playing lacrosse in eighth grade. He graduated from high school in 2012, then continued his career as an LSM on the Seton Hill men’s team.

Schreiber graduated from Seton Hill in 2016 and was hired as defensive coordinator at Bethel Park soon after graduation.

He took over as the Black Hawks’ head coach in the fall of 2018.

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