Athlete of the Week: Tyler West
The Pine Valley boys varsity soccer team is having a very good season thus far. Playing in Class-D, the little known high school set in South Dayton, NY along Route 83 has built a 5-0 league record and are 8-1 overall. Their lone loss came at the hands of Randolph of Class-C, in the second game of the season.
Since then Pine Valley has rattled off seven straight wins.
David Pihlblad is in his 4th year as head coach of the Panthers. Currently Pine Valley is ranked 10th in Class D by the NYSPHSAA. However, in WNY, the small school is outside the box in terms of rankings. “That really is neither here nor there. Rankings, traditionally are nice but we have to keep winning” coach Pihlblad said. “We have our goals like everyone else, win the league and go to sectionals.”
Last weekend, West, a senior and four-year starter on varsity was named the WNYAthletics.com Athlete of the Week and was presented with a tee-shirt and a pair of flip flops with his name and school logo printed on them – compliments of SportsSlidesusa.com, the primary sponsor of the award.
West recorded 9 goals and 2 assists in back-to-back wins over Westfield and Franklinville. He set a school record for most goals in a game with five versus Westfield. Through eight games he has 20 goals.
“Tyler has speed; unbelievably fast and has great ball skills. He’s also a lefty which throws defenders off. For a while he was really our only threat, teams would key in on him, they still do. But he’s still scoring” said his coach.
“I really liked watching it on television when I was younger. It stuck, it’s just my thing. West said. The only thing West does not like about soccer “coming out, that’s the worst. I like scoring goals and winning.” Currently West is considering playing soccer next fall at Medaille or St. Bonaventure. He’s been in contact with both schools but hasn’t decided just yet.
Pihlblad played collegiately at Medaille. He is now a history teacher in the Pine Valley school district.
In addition to West, Dylan Chase a senior, now an offensive attack centerman has been a major contributor in the scoring department netting six and assisting on 9 others. Prior to this season Dylan was the goal-keeper. “We really needed another guy up front to take pressure off of Tyler” Pihlblad said.
Makiah Snyder a sophomore has filled the void left by Dylan nicely. “He’s been the best surprise so far.”
Dana Jenkins is a junior and is a defender. “Things come naturally to him; has the ability to win the ball and then find feet for the counter attack” coach said.
Pine Valley will host Portville (2-1-2) of Class C Thursday in a non-league game.