Chase Reifsnyder was a scoring machine last year for the Oley Valley boys soccer team.
He pumped in 14 goals and helped lead the Lynx to the Berks League and District 3 Class 2A championships.
Reifnsnyder did it with a mighty leg and a quiet demeanor.
“He’s a great kid,” Lynx coach Shawn Meals said. “He just goes about his business. It’s actually nice to see a rise out of him in practice or even in a game because you know he’s alive. Nothing really shakes him.”
Reifsnyder will be the foundation for Oley Valley as it seeks its third straight Berks crown and second consecutive district title. He was the Berks Player of the Year last season after he scored two goals against Wilson in the county semis and two more against Fleetwood in the final.
He’s a junior with exceptional speed and skills. With the Lynx returning just three starters, they’ll rely heavily on him.
“It’s definitely nice when the team kind of looks up to you,” Reifsnyder said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of pressure on you. If you make a mistake, everything falls on you. You have to be almost perfect with everything you do.”
His commitment to be great makes him the player that he is, according to his coach.
“He works,” Meals said. “I say that all the time. He creates stuff that you wouldn’t expect to be created simply because of his work ethic. Out of the blue, he’ll pop up with the ball when other players would give up on it.
“That mentality, more than his skills, is the benefit to the team overall. It gives other players something to try to match, to try to live up to.”
Reifsnyder juggles a hectic schedule while playing soccer, basketball and baseball, his favorite sport. He was the starting third baseman on Oley’s District 3 Class 3A championship team that reached the PIAA final in June.
“He has tremendous potential in soccer,” Meals said. “The unfortunate thing is that this is not his No. 1 sport. I’m lucky to have him for three months. They’re three months that I embrace.
“He has a tremendous amount of potential in baseball, soccer and even basketball. He’s a natural-born athlete.”
Danny Turchi, a senior, plays basketball and soccer with Reifsnyder. They play together on the front line, along with Anthony Witt. Turchi said he knew instantly that Reifsnyder was special after he transferred from Fleetwood.
“I was like, ‘Geez, he’s faster than me,’ ” Turchi said. “He just works really hard. He’s a great player. Watching him last year was crazy. He could get by anyone he wanted. He was always in the right spot (to score goals).”
Reifsnyder naturally will draw much attention from Oley opponents, especially after the Lynx lost 12 seniors from last year. He won’t surprise anyone.
“Last year I hid on the sideline a lot,” he said. “When there was a through ball, I’d go on it. This year I expect to be marked well.
“I’m going to have to move with (Anthony) Witt and Danny up top. I’m going to have to keep the opposing defenses distracted and get to the through ball when I can.”
Reifsnyder and Turchi said the Lynx can win the Berks title again for a three-peat. Meals pointed to the standard that has been set for Oley Valley soccer over the last five years.
“Success breeds success,” Meals said. “It’s a mentality that gets passed on from one class to the next. No one wants to drop the ball.”
Especially with Reifsnyder leading the way.
“He’s not a cheerleader,” Meals said. “What he does is lead by example. That’s Chase Reifsnyder. He goes out there and sets the standard that he wants everyone else to emulate.”
Top returning players in Berks boys soccer
All-Berks: Chase Reifsnyder, Oley Valley.
All-division: Michael Moser, Exeter; Micah Nyce, Gov. Mifflin; Evan Franek, Exeter; Joseph Petricoin, Gov. Mifflin; Tanner Karas, Exeter; Ibrahim Sheriff, Conrad Weiser; Curren Shesniak, Conrad Weiser; Angel Isardat, Muhlenberg; Malachia Herndon, Fleetwood; Brayden Evans, Tulpehocken; Brandon Vargo, Wyomissing; Owen Harris, Tulpehocken; Jorge Aguirre, Tulpehocken; Lucas Blatt, Hamburg; Eliecer Aguirre, Tulpehocken; Christian Bowles, Antietam; Owen Lichtenwalner, Brandywine Heights; Matt Remick, Kutztown; Spencer Miller, Brandywine Heights; Carson Lubas, Antietam; Noah Archambault, Antietam; Dante Blankenbiller, Brandywine Heights; Reece Wilson, Antietam.
Source: Berkshire mont