Wellsboro Boys Soccer Preview 2018

New-look Hornets return after championship season


by Ed Weaver - August 30, 2018

2017 saw a first in Wellsboro boys soccer history. After finishing in 2nd place in the Northern Tier League (behind Athens) the Hornets struck gold in the District IV Class A playoffs and won the program’s first-ever championship. After all the success a team goes through, however, sometimes there are changes.

Head Coach: Todd Fitch (1st year)
2017 Season Record: 20-2-1 (John Shaffer)
Key Returners: Nate Redell, Cam Tennis, Brett Rudy, Kaeden Mann, Holden Kennedy
Players to Watch: Brett Rudy, Kaeden Mann

Every year teams must replace seniors to graduation, but unlike most seasons, the 2018 Hornets are replacing a great senior class along with a head coach. After a stellar 20-2-1 championship season and an Elite 8 appearance in the PIAA state tournament, head coach John Shaffer received the opportunity of a lifetime to coach college soccer. Shaffer is the new Mansfield University girls soccer interim head coach in 2018.

Fear not, though, as long-time assistant coach Todd Fitch is stepping in to take over the program this season. Fitch has compiled a 48-19-14 record as the Hornets’ JV coach from 2011-17 and Fitch even has previous head coaching experience at New Covenant Academy.

One of the big things the Hornets will have to replace is the loss of Noah Fitch, Tanner Runyan, and Gabe Leach from last season. The trio scored a combined 61 goals last year for Wellsboro, so that will be tough to replace. Up to the task, however, is Brett Rudy and Kaeden Mann. Rudy was 2nd on the team last year in goals scored (23) behind Runyan. Mann was 4th on the team with 19 goals as a freshman, and was named the Towanda Daily Review’s Newcomer of the Year for 2017. Both should see expanded roles this year as they take over for Fitch, Runyan and Leach. Also with the scoring threat of Joseph Grab the Hornets should see very little drop off in goal scoring production in 2018.

Defensively the Hornets return a good portion of last year’s group. While they will have to replace Ryan Stough and Nic Ingerick, seniors Cam Tennis, Nate Redell and Holden Kennedy will be holding down the back lines. Redell recorded 89 saves and 14 shutouts, while only allowing 11 entire goals on the season, in 2017 and the Hornets expect much of the same going forward.

Look for the Hornets to make another run at an NTL championship, which they will do battle with Athens over, and potentially a deep in the District IV Class AA playoffs this season.


Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver

Videography: Tim Crane

Video Editing: Tim Crane

Writing: Ed Weaver

Anchor: Ed Weaver

Correspondent: Johanna Vogt


Produced by Vogt Media

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