Springdale’s Demore named Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year
By: Doug Gulasy
Saturday, December 9, 2017 | 8:27 PM
Senior, forward, Springdale
At times this season, Springdale's best recipe for offensive success seemed simple.
When the Dynamos needed a goal, they went to Jared.
Jared Demore joined the Springdale boys soccer team as a junior after two years with the football program and immediately became the top scoring threat, leading the team in goals each of the past two seasons. That included 28 goals this season, with four during the playoffs, when the Dynamos went on an underdog run from the WPIAL's No. 7 seed to become Class A runner-up and a PIAA quarterfinalist.
The 5-foot-3 Demore used his speed to beat flat-footed defenders and find the back of the net, often chasing down long throughballs from his midfielders and defenders.
And when it came to picking boys soccer player of the year, the Valley News Dispatch went to Jared, too.
Looking back, how do you feel the season went?
I think it went really well. I think we exceeded a lot of people's expectations of what they thought we could do this year, and I think we proved to ourselves that we can do anything we set our minds to. We weren't going to let anyone to tell us we couldn't make it (or) we weren't good enough. We just went out and proved it.
What memory sticks out most?
It was just all the chemistry we had: going out to eat after practice, just becoming better friends, making new friends on the team. It just brought us a lot closer.
Was there a go-to place for those team meals?
We'd either go to Subway or Chili's. Those are our favorite places.
What game do you remember most?
It would probably have to be Freedom. We proved to ourselves that we could take down a bigger team than us, a top-seeded team. It just meant a lot to us.
What's it been like to be a part of the Springdale soccer program since coming over from football last year?
It's been a blessing to be with all these kids and the coaches. It means a lot. What they showed me, how to be a better soccer player and a better person, just meant a lot to me.
You scored a lot of goals. Any that were especially memorable?
One of my biggest goals was against Avonworth this season. I scored the overtime winner to beat them. It was really one of my favorites.
What was it like to play in a really difficult section?
It was really difficult, but it was also a lot of fun. Not many games were gimme games: We had to go out and work for almost every single one of those. That's the way I wanted to play. I didn't just want to get handed a section champ or second place in the section. I like the challenging games.
What would you say is your best attribute on the field?
Probably just communication, just making sure everyone knows where they're going. I'm looking back most of the time, so I have to conduct what our midfielders are doing, who's coming from behind. I communicate with most of my teammates.
You're 5-foot-3. Is that an advantage or disadvantage?
I think it's an advantage going into games. People think because I'm small, that means I can't do this or can't do that. But they underestimate my speed most of the time because of my size. They don't think I'm that quick.
Is everyone in your family on the small side?
Yeah, the tallest one in my family is 5-5, and that's my dad. So none of us are very tall.
So you knew growing up there wouldn't be much height in your future?
Yep. I realized that, and I was fine with that. I just had to adjust to competition.
Are you thinking about playing soccer in college?
I'm not. I'm thinking about the military.
Has that been a goal of yours?
Yeah, ever since I was young. My dad was a Marine, so I just want to do what he did, follow in his footsteps.
Are you ready for the challenge? What do you think will be the toughest part of it?
I think I am, yes. (The toughest part will be) probably just the routine, getting used to that. Right now, I'm not living the strictest of lifestyles. I'll have to wake up at a certain time, make sure everything's neat. I think that'll be a big adjustment.
Do you consider yourself disciplined?
I do think I'm disciplined. I learned that from football a few years ago, just not taking any plays off, making sure I do my work, and trying to be the best I can be at all times.
Do you follow international soccer?
Not really. I watch a few games here and there, but I don't really follow any singular league or team.
Any players you look up to?
There's not many. There's just Messi, Ronaldo, just the big names.
Messi's on the small side, too, right?
Yeah. That is who I kind of look up to. I kind of model my game after him. He's quick, he's fast. I just try to be my best.
What are your hobbies outside of soccer?
I love to hunt, fish, go camping and just hang out with my friends a lot of the time.
Do you have a favorite spot for hunting, fishing, etc.?
I just like going anywhere in the woods. I don't like going to like a campsite or like a built place. I just like to go out on my own, with my family, for a couple days.
Do you guys have any superstitions?
Every time we went to Valley for practice during playoffs, there's this one statue of Willie Thrower (at Memorial Stadium). We'd always get a picture with him before practice. We did that every time. Once we started winning playoff games, we just had to keep doing it.
Any guilty pleasure foods?
It's gotta be a sundae or something. A brownie sundae.
Who was the biggest character on the team?
I'd have to go with our senior captain Nick Taliani. He's a goofy kid. We love messing around with him. He's real funny. And then he can also lead the team.
What's your best coach Sanchez story?
There's a lot of things he did. He's a great coach, a funny guy. One of the best stories was last year, when we dropped three games straight and were on the brink of missing the playoffs. We had to win four straight games, and he said to all of us that if we (won) the next four games, he'd shave his head. And that's what he did.
All-WPIAL selection controlled the midfield for WPIAL quarterfinalist Raiders, scoring a team-high 16 goals and adding 14 assists.
St. Joseph, jr.
He moved to forward this season and became the Spartans' top scorer, tallying 17 goals on his way to all-WPIAL honors.
All-WPIAL was the top distributor from the midfield position for playoff qualifier Mustangs and also added eight goals.
Deer Lakes, sr.
All-section pick was the leader of a dominant defense that limited opponents to 11 goals in 19 games and helped Lancers reach WPIAL quarterfinals.
Deer Lakes, jr.
Moved from a field position to starting goalkeeper and shined, posting 12 shutouts and allowing just nine goals to earn all-WPIAL honors.
The all-WPIAL forward finished the season as one of the WPIAL's leading scorers, finding the back of the net 27 times for playoff qualifiers.
The Yellowjackets' quiet leader and defensive MVP helped Freeport post five shutouts and reach the WPIAL playoffs.
Speedy forward scored 14 goals and 16 assists for WPIAL quarterfinalist, was all-WPIAL player and became MVP of WPSCA All-Star Game.
He moved to sweeper for WPIAL runner-up, used his speed to shut down opponents and scored the game-winning penalty kick in the WPIAL semifinals against Seton LaSalle.
All-WPIAL midfielder made plays as a scorer and setup artist, finishing with 11 goals and 19 assists as Dynamos reached WPIAL title game and state quarterfinals.
He used his size and athleticism in net to record 12 shutouts for the Dynamos, including two in their underdog playoff run, and was all-WPIAL pick.
Cal Fisher, Riverview, sr., D
Hunter Hardin, Freeport, so., F
Zane Ingram, Fox Chapel, so., D
Zach Liberati, Springdale, sr., M
Justin McClafferty, Springdale, sr., F
Devin Murray, Deer Lakes, fr., M
Gabe Norris, Highlands, fr., M
Donovan Russell, Burrell, sr., G
Callan Scharba, Plum, sr., F
Will Tabor, Fox Chapel, sr., F
Adam Walker, Riverview, sr., F