Weekly Feature



2017-11-08 / Sports

Clarence, East Aurora land multiple players on top squad

All-Bee Boys Soccer


Clarence and East Aurora both have a pair of honorees on the 2017 All-Bee Boys Soccer First Team. Pictured is Coach of the Year Kevin Beale (East Aurora), far left, with fellow First Team honorees Dan Phillips (East Aurora), Jack Bean (East Aurora) and Player of the Year Bryce Schiltz (East Aurora), Spencer Frome (St. Joe’s), Justin Bonetto (Williamsville North) and Alex Fusani (Kenmore West). Clarence’s Ross Showalter and Jake Bowman are missing from the photo. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Clarence and East Aurora both have a pair of honorees on the 2017 All-Bee Boys Soccer First Team. Pictured is Coach of the Year Kevin Beale (East Aurora), far left, with fellow First Team honorees Dan Phillips (East Aurora), Jack Bean (East Aurora) and Player of the Year Bryce Schiltz (East Aurora), Spencer Frome (St. Joe’s), Justin Bonetto (Williamsville North) and Alex Fusani (Kenmore West). Clarence’s Ross Showalter and Jake Bowman are missing from the photo. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Clarence and East Aurora always field outstanding boys soccer teams and the trend continued this season.

Neither squad suffered a loss to a Section VI team on their way to sectional championships as Clarence won the Class AA title and East Aurora won the A-2 and the overall A crown. Both teams combined for a 37-3-1 record.

Both teams were well represented on the 2017 All-Bee Boys Soccer First Team with a pair of selections. Kenmore West, Williamsville North and St. Joe’s each had one honoree. Justin Bonetto – Forward

Williamsville North

Senior center midfielder Justin Bonetto did it all for Williamsville North.

The three-year starter and two-year captain led Class AA with 22 goals and was second on the team with 11 assists.

“He was our go-to player all year long,” North coach Dave LaMastra said. “He either scored or set up goals. He also played some great balls that didn’t show up in the stats that made the team go.”

LaMastra said the program was built the last few years around Bonetto’s skill set.

“Justin was a highly skilled player with outstanding ball control who doesn’t back down physically,” LaMastra said. “His technical and tactical knowledge of the game made the players around him better when he enters the final third. He plays with passion and is equally effective with both feet.”

Bonetto was named the Class AA Player of the Year.

Alex Fusani — Forward

Kenmore West

As great a player as Alex Fusani was for Kenmore West, he was an even better person.

“He deserves everything he has because of his work ethic, but he is one of the most mature, responsible, respectful quality kids I have ever coached,” Kenmore West coach Todd Marquardt said.

Fusani, a two-year starter, scored eight goals as a junior and exploded with 20 goals this season, which led the entire Niagara-Frontier League and broke the single season school record of 18 set by Chris Dulakis in 1980. He also recorded five assists. Marquardt said Fusani tallied a point in 16 of the Blue Devils’ 20 games.


Jake Bowman 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Jake Bowman Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com “A goal of his was to break the school record and he did not put himself before the team for his personal goal,” Marquardt said. “As it turns out, his personal goal made the team achieve success.”

Fusani shined in the postseason. He tallied two goals in Kenmore West’s 4-0 Section VI Class A-1 prequarterfinal win over Hutch-Tech, and scored all four goals in the team’s 2-1 wins against Williamsville East in the quarterfinals and McKinley in the semifinals.

Kenmore West, which finished with a 10-9-1 record, reached the A-1 final, its first appearance in a sectional championship since they beat Clarence, 2-0, for the AA title in 2006.

Marquardt said Fusani’s best attribute on the field was his speed, with and without the ball.

“He’s dominant with both feet,” he said.


Ross Showalter Ross Showalter Fusani was named Kenmore West’s Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Ross Showalter – Forward

Clarence

Ross Showalter had a knack for scoring goals but what also made him a standout player was his ability to out-work his opponent.

“His work ethic was outstanding,” Clarence coach Mike Silverstein said. “He set the tone for how hard we were going to work in practice.”

The junior forward led the Red Devils in scoring for the second straight year, recording 18 goals and five assists.

Silverstein said Showalter “manufactured goals when you don’t think it is possible.”

In Clarence’s 2-1 win over Orchard Park in the Class AA semifinals, Silverstein said Showalter got played a tough ball in, used his body to get between himself and a defender, and hit a left-footed shot into the top corner of the net.

Showalter also scored four times in the first half of Clarence’s 10-0 home win over Niagara Falls in the Section VI Class AA quarterfinals.

“I’m looking forward to his senior year to watch him grow as a player,” Silverstein said.

Jack Bean – Midfield

East Aurora

Jack Bean had not played for East Aurora since his freshman year but the center midfielder made up for lost time with a fantastic senior season.

Bean, who did not play as a sophomore due to a knee injury and as a junior due to playing for the Empire United Development Academy, scored the game-winning goal in a double overtime non-league win over St. Joe’s, and set up the game-tying goal with 13 seconds left and scored the game-winning goal on a difficult angle 12 minutes into overtime in East Aurora’s 4-3 win over Grand Island in the Section VI Class A final.

The team captain finished with eight goals and a team-high 16 assists.

East Aurora coach Kevin Beale called Bean “one of the most technical players that we have had.”

“He was so strong on the ball in the midfield and kept possession,” Beale said. “He did a great job of penetrating into a team’s back line and appropriately played balls back into the mix. He set up a lot of our goals. It was a huge addition to have him back.” Spencer Frome — Defense

St. Joe’s

Spencer Frome is the definition of a student-athlete.

In addition to receiving a boatload of accolades, the four-year starting senior defenseman and two-year captain also carries a 101.3 grade point average and is student council president.

“He’s the whole package,” St. Joe’s Mike Thoin said. “If you were a dad and had a daughter, it would be OK if he showed up at your door.”

With Frome in the lineup, St. Joe’s tallied a 60-10-7 overall record. This season, the Marauders recorded 13 shutouts in 19 games and allowed eight goals.

“He’s incredibly focused,” Thoin said. “He could go either way with the ball and reads the game the way you should. He set the tone for the other kids.”

Frome, the 2017 Monsignor Martin Association Defensive Player of the Year, has also tallied seven career goals and 11 assists.

Jake Bowman – Defense

Clarence

Jake Bowman’s first year of playing defense was a huge success.

The senior tallied six goals and two assists, and became a lockdown defender for a defensive unit that only allowed eight goals.

“We lost everyone except for one player and we needed someone to step in that role,” Silverstein said. “It was a simple conversation with him and I asked him to play an outside back and he said ‘absolutely, coach.’ He has a great skill set but he was also someone we relied on as a shutdown defender. He did a remarkable job. It is a testament to his dedication for the success of the program. We are not the team we are without him.”

Bowman is an accomplished midfielder in lacrosse and has verbally committed to play at Frostburg State University, a Division III school in Maryland.

Dan Philips – Goalie

East Aurora

When he was not making a save, senior captain Dan Phillips was making his voice heard on the field for East Aurora.

“Dan was our emotional and vocal leader,” Beale said. “He was experienced, gutsy and tough. There were games where he was not always active but he was active in team huddles and practice, and got on players when they should have been doing something.”

The three-year goalie anchored a defense that allowed eight goals and recorded 16 of the team’s 17 shutouts. The 17 shutouts were one off the school record of 18 set in 2007.

Beale said Phillips’ best games of the season was a non-league game against St. Joe’s where he made four saves in a 1-0 double overtime win and “was in command of the goal box,” and 11 saves against Grand Island in the section final.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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