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2020 Clarion Area Lady Cats Soccer Team Honors Seniors And Parents (Posted 10/26/20)

(Images by Matt Lerch) Above: Seniors with their Coaches (L-R) Assistant Coach Nikki Glenn, Emily Grabiak, Hannah Hazlett, Head Coach Chris Schonbachler, Jenna Miller, Ava Cherico, Assistant Coach Stephanie

The 2020 Clarion Area Lady Cats Soccer Team honored the Seniors and their parents, at the Clarion Area Field, during festivities prior to their game with Keystone, on Monday, October 19th.

Coach Chris Schonbachler shared his thoughts on this fine group of young ladies:

On The Seniors In General

2020 Seniors: Emily Grabiak, Hannah Hazlett, Jenna Miller, Ava Cherico

These seniors have been great team leaders on and off the field.  They help foster a great team chemistry that allows freshman and first year players feel like part of this  soccer family from day one.  Each one is a terrific player on the field, but an even better person off the field.

Jenna Miller

Shawn Miller, Senior Jenna Miller

Jenna started as a center back defender, in her first game in 2017 and she’s held that position every game since then.  When the team is down a goal its her voice I hear first most of the time, providing uplifting comments to the team. 

Because of her defensive prowess, Jenna is commonly a favorite target of opposing players.  She has been knocked to the ground more times than any player I’ve coached. Each time she pops back up with a big smile on her face. 

Unfortunately Jenna must stop playing after this season… her taped up cleats won’t make it any further than that.

Emily Grabiak

Donna Grabiak, Senior Emily Grabiak, Jeff Grabiak

Emily has been an excellent player since her freshman year, it just took her until junior year to believe it.  We’ve watched her develop from a quiet freshman, doubting her abilities to a team captain her senior year who does all the coaches ask of her.  Its seeing a player make that transformation, not the wins, losses or trophies, that reaffirms the importance of sports in my mind. 

Emily and I also share a unique bond of being able to express most situations in life to a SpongeBob SquarePants episode.

Hannah Hazlett

Mark Hazlett, Senior Hannah Hazlett, Karen Hazlett

Hannah’s greatest attribute is her willingness to always put the team ahead of herself.  In her sophomore year, when we were looking for a new goalie, Hannah stepped up.  She performed very well for two years in goal. 

This season when I wanted to give her eventual replacement playing time, Hannah gave up her spot and played outside back.  Not only did this help develop net year’s goalie, it helped the team immediately, as Hannah has been a top defensive player since making the switch. 

She also tells great stories, which rarely have a point, but are entertaining.

Ava Cherico

Fred Cherico, Senior Ava Cherico, Kim Cherico

Ava started playing soccer her freshman year, as one would expect she was a little rough.  No player I’ve coached has worked harder at developing the skills needed to become a better player. 

As is always the case, the hard work paid off.  Ava became one of the team’s better defensive players and could also play very well in almost any position on the field, except goalie (she is only 5‘2” after all!). 

So last winter when she had to have knee surgery I knew she’d return before our season ended, because she told me she would work to make it happen. 

I could not imagine this team the past 4 years without her personality, character, and laughter.  Ava is also one of the few players that laughs at my jokes.

(Thanks to Coach Shonbachler, for his heartfelt comments and to Matt Lerch, for his images. Congratulations, Jenna, Emily, Hannah and Ava!!!! All the best in your future endeavors. And congratulations to your parents also!!!!)