West selected to PSCA All-State team
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Manheim Central girls soccer coach John Shetromph describes his star junior Jenna West as a tireless workhorse.
That certainly helps to explain how West managed to play the Lady Barons’ final six games this fall with a foot injury.
Unbeknownst at the time was that the injury was actually a broken bone.
"Even playing through that pain, she was still effective," Shetromph remarked. "I don’t know of many people that could play with a broken foot and she was able to do it. I just have a tremendous amount of respect for her as a person and a player."
Clearly, other members of the Pennsylvania State Coaches Association (PSCA) hold MC’s center midfielder in high esteem as well. It was recently announced that West was one of three Lancaster-Lebanon League players named to the PSCA All-State squad, joining Cedar Crest’s Haleigh Echard and Conestoga Valley’s Gianna Yurchak. West learned of her selection at the L-L All-Star banquet.
"I wasn’t expecting it at all considering I broke my foot halfway through the season," said West, who was also named Section Two MVP and a First-Team All-Star. "I stood up, looked over at my coach and was like, ‘What?’ I was so surprised. I had no idea."
"It’s huge," Shetromph said of the honor. "It’s a great thing for Jenna to be recognized as one of the top players in the State. There’s only three players in the L-L League that get accepted onto the State team. So you think of all the players that are playing for all the different schools, it’s a huge honor. It’s good for our school. It gives the school attention. Jenna is just a wonderful person. She’s a great athlete and she’s a wonderful young lady."
From her center attacking midfield position, West, a three-year starter, finished the season with a team-leading eight goals and four assists. More than that, however, the junior captain made her teammates better.
"(Jenna)’s a team player. She wants her team to do well," Shetromph said. "Jenna was our Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. She made other players around her look better. She was usually man marked, sometimes with two players. Her energy, passion, and skill is special. She was named as MVP in our section when we finished 4th and did not qualify for districts. No other MVP had that team situation. The other two All-State players (Echard and Yurchak) had teams that made it to the league championship. Jenna is a special young lady. I can’t recall another player at any level being named MVP when their team did not finish first."
As far as West is concerned, her personal statistics take a backseat to the team’s overall success.
"When I’m on the field," West said, "I don’t think about my personal stats. I think about, ‘Whoever is open, I’ll pass them the ball.’ Honestly, I’m just as happy watching somebody else score. If I score, great. But if somebody else scores, even better."
"The best aspect of Jenna is that she is all about ‘team,’" Shetromph said. "Her main goal from day one was to have the team qualify for leagues and districts. Her modesty and humble nature is unmeasured. She was surprised to be named to the All-County team. Whatever team she plays for in college will get a special gem."
Unfortunately for the Lady Barons, key injuries to five of their starting players caught up with them down the stretch. Following their 2-0 win over Garden Spot on Sept. 26, the game in which West was injured, the MC girls went just 2-3 the rest of the way. They ended up placing 22nd in the District Three Triple-A power rankings with a 9-6-3 record (7-4-3 L-L), just two spots from advancing.
The initial diagnosis for West was that her foot was not broken. It wasn’t until season’s end that an orthopedist found the fracture.
"They thought it was nothing too severe, so I just kept playing," West said. "I was one of the three captains this past year and I felt like I just needed to play for the girls. Even if it was painful or even if I couldn’t go 100 percent, I still felt like I needed to give what I had for the rest of the season."
Although the team was disappointed for senior Lauren Herr not to reach the playoffs, the Lady Barons have a strong cast of players back in 2014. Next fall, they will be looking to take care of some unfinished business.
"We’re looking to keep moving forward," West said. "I think we’ll definitely be in the race as long as we keep our head on straight."
Joining West with L-L All-Star honors from Manheim Central were Caitlin Howett, who received Second-Team accolades, and Herr, who earned Academic recognition.
More WEST, page B-6