Photo by Sam Wilson
Pictured is the 2019 Springville-Griffith Institute varsity boys soccer team. Front row (from left): Wyatt Fuller, Ben Sullivan, Andrew Jenis, Jake Schrieber, Will Guilman, Troy Ellis, Austin Walker. Second row: Charley Digangi, Garon Holland, Nick Sullivan, Cameron Denny, Jesse Fisher, Zach Hughey, John Andreeff, Nate Cudney. Back row: Ty Dash, Dylan Westbrook, Dan Gernatt, Austin Boies, Andrew Fisher, Chris Smith, coach Tom Szczerbacki.

By Sam Wilson

It’s safe to say the Springville/West Valley boys soccer team has put last year’s SGI season in the past already.

In the Griffins’ first six games of the season, they doubled last year’s win total, going 6-0 coming off a 3-12-1 season. Now 6-0-1 through Monday, SGI holds a goal differential of plus-14, outscoring opponents 18-4.

This marks the eighth season leading the varsity volleyball program for coach Tom Szczerbacki.

“The key to the start is the effort this team demonstrates,” Szczerbacki said. “They compete hard and they want to win. They show up to practice with a positive attitude and work ethic and it translates to the game. It also helps that we are finishing the chances we’ve had on goal.”

Leading the way so far has been senior Chris Smith, who scored eight of the team’s first 16 goals. Zach Hughey and Andrew Fisher have two goals each.

“Chris has a good touch and can finish,” Szczerbacki said. “He makes good runs up top and his teammates find him and he does the rest.”

The team is veteran-laden, with 12 seniors and 11 juniors comprising the 23-man roster. With so many seniors, Szczerbacki sees multiple leaders on the roster.

“That’s something that makes this group unique,” he said. “We have many leaders on this team, Seniors like (midfielder) Jake Schreiber, (defenseman) Wyatt Fuller and (midfielder) Austin Walker.”

So far, the Griffs (6-0-1) have yet to lose in league play or out of it, holding a 3-0-1 record in ECIC Div. IV. Eden handed SGI its first non-victory with a 2-2 draw on Monday.

“The goal is to win the division and have a successful run in the playoffs,” Szczerbacki said.

SGI was set to play host to Alden on Wednesday (5 p.m.) and Tonawanda on Saturday (10 a.m.).

In boys soccer action this week:
Springville 2, Eden 2, OT
Dan Gernatt and Andrew Fisher scored second-half goals to salvage a draw for Springville (6-0-1) on Monday at home. Austin Walker and Zach Hughey had assists.

Springville 4, North Collins 2
After falling behind 2-0, Andrew Fisher, Chris Smith, Zach Hughey and Austin Walker each scored a goal to lift Springville on Saturday at home. Smith had two assists and Walker had one.

Springville 1, Holland 0
Chris Smith scored in the 50th minute push Springville ahead on Wednesday, Sept. 11 in Holland. Jake Schrieber assisted the winning goal.