Westmoreland Senior Spotlight: Norwin’s Riley Zimmerman

Monday, December 6, 2021 | 10:55 AM

The Norwin boys soccer team’s regular season ended with 14 straight wins, propelling the Knights into the playoffs hungry to make a run.

Their season ended in a 1-0 loss to North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals, but the season-ending news wasn’t all bad as two Norwin players earned All-WPIAL honors.

Riley Zimmerman, one of those players, sees it as a tremendous achievement.

“It’s a great honor,” Zimmerman said.

“It was kind of relieving after I got it because my hard work was noticed more this year than any other.”

The other Norwin player honored was Caleb Yuricha, who scored 28 times this season.

Yuricha also earned All-State recognition.

“That kid is just so good,” Zimmerman said. “He’ll just make something happen.”

Zimmerman and Yuricha are two of 12 departing seniors for the Knights.

With the season in the rear-view mirror, Riley Zimmerman took time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A.

How did you get started with soccer?

When I was 6 years old, my parents picked a sport that some of my other friends liked at the time and threw me out there with them. And then from there on out, I guess I just loved playing it.

How do you think this season went?

Although we did lose in the quarterfinals, I still think it was very successful. Just bonding with the team and making friendships and having fun at practice. Obviously, we wanted to go to finals and win, like every other team, but that didn’t happen, so what I could take away from it was making friendships, having fun and having a great coach, as well.

What is your biggest strength?

I think my biggest strength would be my vision and seeing how we’re playing. When people are making runs, I’ll find them out of the corner of my eye basically any time. I’ll have a good through ball or ball to them every time. I’d say that vision is probably my best aspect.

Is there an area where you think you could improve?

I think I could definitely improve offensively. Whenever I get into that final third and just shooting more and finishing or finding that right final pass for a goal.

What is one memory that sticks out from your high school career?

I’d say one memory this year that sticks out to me is our one Saturday morning practice that we were regretting having. It was at like 6 a.m., freezing cold, and no one really wanted to be there. But whenever we got there, Scotty (Schuchert), our coach, just changed the atmosphere and everything was just so much fun. Everyone wanted to keep playing. We wanted to stay after practice and play. I’d say that for this year.

Do you plan on playing soccer after high school?

I do plan on continuing playing soccer after high school. Right now, I have a couple D-3 and D-2 offers, and I’m still picking them up as we go here, so hopefully I can get more in the future.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

A crazy little fact is that I’m really good at snowboarding. I can do a lot of cool tricks like front flips and 360s, a lot of rails and things like that. It’s awesome.


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