Cooperstown junior Michael Rowley let his feet do the talking this past soccer season.
"How do I say this diplomatically," Redskins soccer coach Frank Miosek said, speaking of Rowley. "I think his skills were there as a sophomore. He could get sidetracked by the opposing team. This year, he was able to put all of that aside. I think his maturity caught up with his skills. And it started from Day 1 of the season."
Rowley, 16, agreed.
"Definitely, it was maturity," Rowley said. "Coach helped me a lot with that. At the beginning of the season, I wore a mouthpiece just so I wouldn't be able to talk back to the other team."
The mouthpiece is no longer necessary. Rowley's 28 goals and five assists in 2011 helped Cooperstown advance to the Section Three Class C final. He was named The Daily Star Player of the Year. He also was the Center State Conference co-Player of the Year last season, sharing the honor with Ilion's Dan Ward.
The Redskins went 17-1-1, their only loss an overtime setback to Tully on an own goal in the sectional final.
Oneonta High also found success this past season, going 14-2 under 24th-year coach Alex Brannan. The Yellowjackets' season included a third straight Southern Tier Athletic Conference division title and their second sectional crown in three years, despite losing six senior starters. Brannan earned Daily Star Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time.
For Rowley, success came in a variety of ways.
"He's a good goal scorer and he's a great defender," Miosek said. "He has a tremendous awareness of what makes the game flow.
"He loves the game," he continued. "You go by the Clark (Sports Center) and he will be there working _ with other kids or by himself if he's the only one there."
Although Rowley typically plays center midfield, his impact has been felt all over the field.
"I have to be honest, he doesn't have just one position," Miosek said. "We played him at sweeper, midfield and striker. If I have to (in 2012), I will drop him back to fullback and let him create from there. That way we can let the other team waste a defender marking him in the backfield."
Rowley said he also matured physically.
"Last year I got taller, but I don't think I grew into my own body right away," he said. "This year, I grew into those changes."
To be sure, Rowley's success came in part because he had a great team around him. Seven Redskins made the CSC First or Second team in 2011, and all of them were seniors. The entire Cooperstown starting defense earned conference All-Star honors, and goalie Kevin Huggins set a team record for shutouts.
"That senior class that just graduated, they had so many good athletes," Rowley said. "It definitely helps to have such an athletic team around me."
This will be Rowley's fourth year playing varsity soccer. He made key contributions to Cooperstown's basketball team, playing sixth man and starting forward for the Redskins squad that won the Section Three Class C title and lost in the state semifinals. He also lettered in golf in the spring.
Rowley plays for a select soccer team, Empire United out of Syracuse, which plays a nine-month season that starts in November and overlaps all three of his high school seasons.
"It was about four nights a week," he said. "It is a pretty long season, but it doesn't get tedious until the end. When I got to summer, I felt it drag a bit.
"It has definitely helped me in my game," he continued. "The speed of the game is so fast. When you come back to high school, everything slows down and you see the game so much better. It is really good for you."
Rowley, who turns 17 next month, tried out and made the Academy team, an All-Star travel team that takes the top players from the elite select league. It's also a feeder system into the MLS and U.S. national program. The team practices and plays six days a week in Rochester, which would require him to give up high school sports.
Not to worry, Redskins fans, Rowley plans to defer his membership for a year.
"I just wanted to try out so that the coaches knew me," he said. "I think I am allowed to practice with them. I am not sure of the details, but maybe one or two days a week. Nothing is certain yet, but I probably will (put off college a year) and play for them next year.
"I didn't want to miss my senior year of high school sports," he continued.
Miosek, for one, said he is grateful. Cooperstown lost eight starters and 12 players to graduation, meaning Rowley will have an even greater role in 2012.
"He knows we're not going to be the elite team we were last year," Miosek said. "He could have chosen to go with all the gravy, but he decided to stick with the meat and potatoes.
"We have a lot of young talented kids," he continued. "I think playing with Michael for one year will really benefit them. He will be an example for them about how to play the game the right way."
Brannan's been coaching soccer his way for nearly a quarter-century. He says when the kids buy in, success follows.
"Sometimes you let them learn by failing," Brannan said. "I've seen games where I've said, 'OK, we'll do it their way and they'll lose. If you want to do it my way, we'll win.' I say, I'm going to win another state championship with or without you. If you stay with the game plan, those are the teams that win. We don't want players doing other people's jobs. Everyone talks about the '99 team (that capped an unbeaten season as Class B state champions). We had a lot of good individual players, but we played as a team. The guy on the left didn't worry about the guy on the right."
This past year, First Team Daily Star All-Stars Dan Joseph, Stijn van Pel, Toby Nobiling and Connor Shearer led the Yellowjackets to a perfect regular season in the STAC. Joseph, a senior, had 28 goals and four assists, van Pel contributed 20 goals and five assists, and Shearer had nine goals and 11 assists.
Nobiling anchored a defense that finished with nine shutouts.
"I think it all comes down to working with the varsity and JV together _ basically doing the same thing," Brannan said. "We usually have slow starts, but we're always there at the end."
The Yellowjackets downed Susquehanna Valley, 3-2, in the sectional final before falling, 3-0, to Clinton in a Class B state quarterfinal.
"The last couple of years, I've had good teams," Brannan said.
2011 DAILY STAR BOYS SOCCER ALL-STARS
DAILY STAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Rowley, Cooperstown junior
DAILY STAR COACH OF THE YEAR: Alex Brannan, Oneonta High, 24 seasons
DAILY STAR FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS
Brett Adams, CV-S senior
Ben Conklin, Walton senior
Jay Davine, Cooperstown senior
Trevor Holdridge, South Kortright junior
Dan Joseph, Oneonta senior
Derek Joyce, Unatego senior
Toby Nobiling, Oneonta senior
Connor Shearer, Oneonta senior
Scott Stiles, CV-S senior
Stijn van Pel, Oneonta junior
DAILY STAR BOYS SOCCER HISTORY
Players of the Year
Year, Player, Team
2011, Michael Rowley, Cooperstown
2010, Peter Fabrykiewicz, South Kortright
2009, Ryan Graig, Oneonta
2008, Avery Meehan, Delhi
2007, Jason Guernsey, CV-Springfield
2006, Aaron Gallusser, Oneonta
2005, Ryan Laymon, Edmeston
2004-x, Tom Dorritie, Laurens
2004-x, Brad Belden, Edmeston
2003-x, Paul Stanton, Edmeston
2003-x, Brad Belden, Edmeston
2002, Brent Smith, Margaretville
2001, Matt Shea, Oneonta
2000, Jonathan Cook, Laurens
1999, Mike Austin, Oneonta
1998, Dino Ragona, Oneonta
1997, Leonard Camacho, Oneonta
1996-x, Dylan Dougherty, Margaretville
1996-x, Ryan Miosek, Cooperstown
1995, Mike Deming, Oneonta
1994, Steve Donaldson, Sidney
1993-x, David Fyfe, Jefferson
1993-x, John Cook, Oneonta
1992, Scott Waller, Cooperstown
1991-x, Brendan Miosek, Cooperstown
1991-x, Deedle Ely, Roxbury
1990-x, Tim Oserhoudt, Cooperstown
1990-x, Deedle Ely, Roxbury
1989, Dave Brzenk, Oneonta
1988, David Storey, Margaretville
1987-x, Bruce Miller, Oneonta
1987-x, Brett Buzzy, Oneonta
1986-x, Tom Beers, Davenport
1986-x, Steve Quinones, Oneonta
1985, Matt Mitchell, Oneonta
1984-x, Doug Lifgren, Milford
1984-x, Tim Fish, Milford
1983, Kevin Beck, Milford
Coaches of the Year
Year, Coach, Team
2011, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
2010, Bob VanValkenburgh, S. Kortright
2009, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
2008-x, David Sander, Morris
2008-x, Brian Rolfe, Delhi
2007, Terri Adams, CV-Springfield
2006, Dave Miller, Laurens
2005, Jim Huntington, Edmeston
2004, Dave Miller, Laurens
2003, Jim Huntington, Edmeston
2002, Pete Palen, Margaretville
2001, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
2000, Dave Miller, Laurens
1999, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
1998, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
1997, Rick Cammer, Jefferson
1996, Pete Palen, Margaretville
1995, Peter Sluiter, Andes
1994, Steve Hornung, Sidney
1993-x, Steve Hornung, Sidney
1993-x, Rick Cammer, Jefferson
1992-x, Charlie Ives, Worcester
1992-x, Alex Brannan, Oneonta
1991, Frank Miosek, Cooperstown
1990, Jim Ballantine, CV-Springfield
1989, Duane Ely, Roxbury
1988, Pete Palen, Margaretville
1987, Duane Ely, Roxbury
1986, Pete Palen, Margaretville
1985, Charlie Ives, Worcester
1984, Frank Spurchise, Milford
1983, Frank Spurchise, Milford
x-Shared Daily Star's top honor
Cooperstown junior Michael Rowley let his feet do the talking this past soccer season.
- Local Sports
Bauerle's 1-hitter leads B-G in Class C
Asked if he would say Tuesday's outing was Bainbridge-Guilford senior Austin Bauerle's best of the season, Bobcats coach Tim Mattingly replied, "Yes, I would." Bauerle struck out 15 and walked two in a one-hitter to lead the eighth-seeded Bobcats to a 2-1 Section Four Class C first-round baseball victory over visiting Spencer-Van Etten.
Margaretville shocks No. 3 Milford in first round
Margaretville junior Colby Russo closed things out on the baseball diamond and on the stage Tuesday night.
O-State senior an All-American in lacrosse
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High School Results
Oneonta youngster wins pitch, hit & run competition
Oneonta resident Mariano Hernandez III finished with the highest points total during the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Sectional Competition, which ran Sunday at Damaschke Field in Oneonta.
State Softball Rankings
- Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ruff, Beers on BCANY top 50 list
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Section Four Tournaments
Tri-Valley League All-Stars
2013 Rat Snake Results
OHS girl wins Class B title
Oneonta High freshman Taylor Hitchcock moved to the head of the class Monday at Vestal. Hitchcock won the Section Four Class B title in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 8 minutes, 5.2 seconds to automatically qualify for the Section Four State Qualifiers on May 30.
Local Auto Racing
Area Sports Briefs
- Monday, May 20, 2013
O-State sprinter gets three chances to be the best
Oneonta State senior Sean Bernstein will compete in three events during the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which run Thursday through Saturday at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex in La Crosse, Wisc.
Section Four Tournaments
High School Track Results
Section Four Tennis Results
- Bauerle's 1-hitter leads B-G in Class C