Monday, October 17, 2022 | 00:01
Kiski Area Boys’ football coach Sean Arnold knew his team had the experience and talent to pull off a special drop.
The only unknown was how his group would handle an unfavorable situation.
He got his answer on Sept. 29 in a match against reigning WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champion Hampton.
The Cavaliers led 2-0 but rallied to score three games in a row, including Anders Bordoy’s winner with just over a minute left in regulation time to win 3-2.
Ronin Wilczek and Nathaniel Coleman also scored for the Cavaliers.
It was the Cavaliers’ signing moment on their way to a Section 1-3A title.
“It was a question mark,” Arnold said. “We wondered if they had that courage and that desire to win. Guess you don’t know until you’re pressed against the wall like we were. Until then, we really didn’t have the opportunity to prove it and we didn’t know if we had played to our full potential.
“When we were down 2-0, we had a good chat with the boys at half-time, and it was up to them to decide they wanted to come back and they did. I give them a lot of credit Many teams would have closed, but they didn’t.
After the Hampton victory, the Cavaliers added a 1-0 no-section victory over Ambridge, a 10-0 triumph over Armstrong and a 4-0 win over North Catholic. The last two secured the section title.
Arnold said his team has similar characteristics to the Hampton team that won the WPIAL and state gold last year.
He split it into two categories that the Cavaliers mirror last year’s Talbots. They’re a veteran side with nine seniors in the starting 11 most nights, and they have a selfless attitude.
“They’re one of the most successful classes we’ve had,” Arnold said. “They have 51 wins as a group. There is a lot of experience. The other part is team dynamics. All they want is to win. When you win at football, it’s a team trait. That’s what happened here. No one cares about stat padding. The only stats they care about are team stats.
The Cavaliers have outstanding talents who are also team leaders.
Bordoy, a rookie from Memphis, leads the team in goal. Coleman, a clerk from Penn State Behrend, commands the midfield and is capable of scoring or making the pass that presents itself as an opportunity.
Ethan Beck plays center back and anchors the defense with his younger brother, Austin, who is a freshman.
Maddox Anderson had eight clean sheets in goal. Another will tie a single-season record in the Kiski region.
“Maddox is a phenomenal goaltender, but he’s also a great point guard,” Arnold said.
“Basically, he takes the words out of my mouth when he’s on the pitch. He’s a great stopper, and our defense has been great as well.
The Cavaliers are about to enter a Class 3A postseason filled with contenders. It should be an intriguing tournament and one in which they aim to make a deep run.
“Each section has a fourth-place team that can take out a first-place team, and you have second- and third-place teams fighting each other,” Arnold said.
“That’s why you play the game. You have to strategize and do what you need to do to win a playoff game. Every team has a chance, regardless of their seed. It’s gonna be a chore. You will need to bring your A-game and play a full game. That’s why I was thrilled to see the boys react to adversity.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
Tags: Kiski Area