Quaker Valley soccer ready to continue tradition with new coach

Friday, September 4, 2020 | 6:52 PM

J.J. Veshio has been around the Quaker Valley soccer program practically his entire life.

He was a player and assistant coach, but the Quaker Valley graduate never really imagined becoming the head coach, something so many of his mentors have done. When former head coach Andrew Marshall stepped down this past offseason after leading the Quakers to WPIAL and PIAA titles last year, Veshio thought why not him?

“This was unexpected frankly, but when the opportunity came, I figured why not put my own personal touch onto it?” Veshio said. “Especially somebody who’s been around as a coach and understands the expectations of the players and hopefully that will help lead us into the next chapter of this program.”

After rejoining the program as an assistant coach in 2008, Veshio, who is the son of longtime Quaker Valley football and track coach and former athletic director Jerry Veshio, has seen the team achieve a lot. He’s been a part of three WPIAL and two PIAA title winners.

So, if anyone knows about the standards of the Quaker Valley boys soccer program, it’s Veshio. He believes that his experience with the program will make the transition from one coach to the next that much easier.

“Certainly, you want the best coach in there, and hopefully that’s me,” Veshio said with a laugh. “But I think having somebody here, especially for the returning guys, they know things are not going to be that much different, not meaning we do the same thing every year for 30 years, but there’s a feeling, an emotion, a part of the community aspect that I think translates year by year and generation by generation. I think me being there helps continue that.”

Veshio will be taking over the program in somewhat of a transition year after the success they had last season. He’ll have to find a way to replace 119 goals and 79 assists after the graduation of a key group of seniors including Dom and Fritz Reiter and Franky Fernandez. The trio accounted for 103 goals as the Quakers outscored opponents 175-23 last season.

While it might be difficult, Veshio believes that they have a talented group returning and they are motivated to continue the Quaker Valley tradition.

“From an emotional standpoint, I think our guys have to understand that this happens every year,” Veshio said. “It’s just a matter of who’s going to step up next and we have to figure things out, especially when you lose 100-plus goals in one season. But it just takes one goal to win a game and we certainly have guys that are excited to fill those roles and break the records that those guys broke last year.”

Sophomores Rowan Kriebel and Keller Chamovitz will be among the players helping to fill the void. Both played significant minutes last season and combined for 33 goals and 33 assists. Chamovitz even converted a free kick in the WPIAL Class AA championship game against Deer Lakes to put the Quakers up, 2-1.

They’ll also have contributors like Kellen Auth, Will Dunda and others who will step into the spotlight for the Quakers this season. Junior Zach Buhr also returns in net after having a solid run through the WPIAL playoffs.

“Especially for the guys that are returning that were able to be a part of the WPIAL and PIAA championship run last season, they know the expectations,” Veshio said. “They aren’t satisfied either they want more, so that is very encouraging for this year.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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