Earlier this month, some of the top individual talent in the Shenandoah Valley United program was represented in the league’s inaugural 2022 All-Star-Game at Horizons Edge.
The SVU Recreation All-Star Game was created this year as a reward for those in the league that not only displayed talent on the pitch, but also grew and developed off of it as well.
“It is a reward clinic and match that we have provided for individuals who have shown great skill and character throughout the rec-league season,” said Gerard Miniaci, who is a former Bridgewater College standout. “It is somewhat a sign of gratitude from their coaches — coaches selected players — for all the players’ hard work and dedication. They are getting an opportunity to have an hour-long training session with a SVU travel coach, along with another match against the other selections from the other teams.”
The training clinic took place on Oct. 14 with one of the program’s travel coaches while the games were played just one week later at The Edge and featured the top players competing.
There were games for the U9/U10 division, the U11/U12 age group and the U13/14 players.
The impressive members of “Team White” in the highly-competitive U9/U10 game were Hudson Kauffman, Owen Miller, Huck Kann, Nicolas Bruns, Carlos Benjamin Lopez, Bryan Lopez, Cristian Lopez, Bryan Posadas, Jeremiah Reidenbach and Brady Wilson while “Team Blue” consisted of standouts Nate Carr, Yotam Daniel, Amiyah Shifflet, Zion Bauman, Hudson Moorman, Jesse Majors, Kiley Woodson, Grace Rydock, Daniel Dively and Michael Lopez.
In the U11/U12 game, “Team White” was made up of Jalen Cruz, Erick Paramo-Rivas, Charlotte Tullo, Gabriel Porter-Onofre, Lilah Lobo, Nathaniel Azpeitia, Henry Perritt, Phillipa Cartmel, Zachary Mitiyuk, Jillian Carr and Bryan Alberto while “Team Blue” featured Eli Hernandez, Gabriel Hollifield, Yousaf Hussain Khil, Hailee Lang, Shay McCombe, Mason Trow, Ashlynn Miller, Kara Lawrence, Lucas Escobar, Bain Kincer, Ryleigh Gheen and Lilian Sono.
Finally, the U13/U14 “Team White” was made up of Yheri Zunun, Elias Arbaiza-Lopez, Cruz Ortega-Sanchez, Isabelle Sych, Jaymily Henry, Mauricio Renteria, Caleb May, Madelyn Hylton and Katie Herrell while “Team Blue” was filled with Aiden Bautista, Max Fletcher, Noah Kinman, Everett Brubaker, Andrew Garber, Lee Souder, Brennan Miller, Dillan Kiracofe and Chloe Higgs.
“It is a very rewarding privilege,” said Miniaci, who is also a volunteer assistant for the James Madison University men’s soccer team at the Division I level. “Ultimately, it gives the individuals an idea as to if they can compete at the travel and challenge levels. Some of the players who partake in [recreation] have never tried out for the travel teams and if coaches from these teams see them play, it could provide them an opportunity to play within the travel program.”
Miniaci said the feedback from the event was positive with several players being shocked they were selected and others just simply embracing the idea of emerging as one of the best.
As the SVU program at Horizons Edge continues to grow, Miniaci hopes the game does, too.
“We have gotten a lot of excitement about the clinic and game,” Miniaci said. “A number of individuals who did not even think they would be selected have been chosen and they cannot wait to participate. Ideally, this excitement will hopefully continue to translate into coming seasons. Parents and players have been giving great feedback on this fall’s season.”