Warrior boys soccer alumni still getting their kicks
More than a decade has passed since Steve Small played on the pitch with the Warwick soccer team.
But the program is still close to his heart.
He’s still close to many of his former teammates.
“It wasn’t just a soccer team &tstr; it was a family &tstr; and we still do things together off the field,” the 2001 Warwick grad said.
That family bond no doubt applies to many other former Warrior players as well. About 25 of them convened at Grosh Stadium on Friday, Aug. 8 to play an alumni game and relive old times.
Players who graduated in even years pulled out a 3-2 win over their odd years counterparts. But on this night, the final score was secondary.
“I think it’s just a good way for some of the older guys to come back and be around the guys and around the team and for the high school to also see who’s gone through,” said 2006 Warwick grad Travis Steedle, the current Warriors’ coach. “I think it’s just a neat kind of an event for fellowship from the old teams and the current team.”
Two others from Steedle’s class, Phil Benedict and Adam Troyer &tstr; seniors on the Warriors’ 2005 State championship team &tstr; were also on hand. Chris Hall, a sophomore on that team who is now an assistant at Manheim Township, and Dale Stotzfus, who coached the Warriors to State gold, were also part of the festivities
Many of the current Warwick players, who were participating in camp on their field off of Lime Rock Road, came to the stadium to watch the game.
“There were a good number of the younger guys in the stands watching and cheering, and out on the field, we were kinda cracking jokes at each other and remembering the old times together,” Steedle said. “So it was a nice, polite atmosphere &tstr; everyone got along great.”
This was the sixth year for the alumni game, which Small has helped to organize. Premier Screen Printing provided T-shirts for the players to wear.
Small, an assistant with Millersville University’s nationally-ranked soccer team, was the oldest player on the Grosh Stadium turf. Ryan Stoner, who also played on the 2000 squad, competed as well.
“There were a good amount of years represented &tstr; I remember talking to coach Stoltzfus about it,” Small recalled. “It was a great night. A lot of the parents still come out to it, my dad (Graham) was there, and a bunch of the other parents of players from when they played were all there. And then all the current players came and watched as well, which was a lot of fun. It’s good for us just that they get to see how much fun we have and what the program means to us so that then when they become alumni, they can join in with us. We’re still following the program and it gives them a little bit of motivation.”
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at email@example.com or at 721-4451.