This award decision was a tough one. My apologies for it being so late into the spring. I
changed my mind a few times a long the way. Its also been a VERY busy soccer season at the
Reusser household as well.
As it turns out...2018 was the year of the goalkeeper for Bethlehem Soccer. On top of it we
have a tie! Liberty's Blake Koski and Freedom's Derek Bast are the 2018 Bethlehem Futbol
Factory Co-Males of the Year! Congrats fellas on a very special year.
Now before i talk about these two in the net...i want to immediately recognize 2 very honorable
mentions. First is Freedom's Brad Turocy. He was the lightning rod in the Patriots magical and
historical run this year. He racked up 31 goals and 8 assists and scored the monster against
Emmaus to win the district title. He won the 2018 Morning Call Boys Soccer Player of the Year
Award ... this article about him is quite good and is worth the read ...
story.html ... so cool to see that even as far along as senior year in high school one can
experience as significant and successful position change in our game. So huge respect to Brad
and what he accomplished this year.
Secondly i want give Liberty's Spencer Koski and honorable mention as well. Its been a true
pleasure watching him develop over the first 3 years i have done this website. He went from the
"younger koski" brother who i would confuse with trevor all the time at first :)...to the absolute
stud captain in the middle of the Hurricane's attack. He was named 1st team all-EPC after
scoring 8 goals and nine assists. He led the team in scoring. Coach Larimer seemed to play him
everywhere and build entire line-ups/strategies around his awesome versatility. He's a great kid
and leader and Liberty is lucky to have had its future stars around him to learn moving forward.
So congrats on a great high school career and good luck at the next level. Which by the way if
you have not been paying attention will be right here in Bethlehem at Lehigh!
So onto the winners of this highly coveted award :) . At one point i had 3 guys in a tie for this.
Many different combinations of 2. But in the end i slept on it a couple more nights and kept
waking up saying the same thing. Bethlehem high schools may never see 2 goalkeepers this
good at one time EVER again. It was that reasoning that made it impossible for me to separate
these two for this distinction.
Those who were at the FIRST LHS v FHS game this year need not read on. Blake Koski played
the best game i have seen (in person) by any player at ANY level including USL since i started
this site in 2015. I feel like the term "standing on his head" gets overused a bit as a goalkeeper
and its not enough to describe what happened. Perhaps he was standing on his pinkie finger?
He literally willed his team to a victory that night giving Freedom its only regular season loss of
the year if memory serves. He won first team ALL-EPC/state honors and was amazing all year. I
always go back to the story his Dad Dean tells of the four boys playing in the basement AKA turf
terror dome. The 3 oldest would stick Blake in net and just pound on him day in and day out. If
you are an old head like me it reminded me of ice hockey's Sutter Brothers from the 80s who
had i believe six boys in the NHL at once. They would apparently have epic hockey matches in
the loft of their barn. But none of them played keeper. Now we know what the fruits of that
intense family training can create in goal. Anyway as a keeper myself its been so cool to watch
Blake wave his magic wand. He has all the tools and if you are young keeper in the area it is
mandatory to get out and see Blake play as he has one more season left at the high school
Lastly we have Freedom's Goalkeeper Derek Bast. There is no question. Freedom does not make
the run they made without Derekholding it down in the back. Its impossible to play with the confidence
the Patriots had going intothe 2nd half of the year without knowing they could be just that much more
aggressive because worst case Derek would be be there to save the day. The previous best performance
i had seen in person goes back to DB's sophomore year when he "stood on his thumb" let's say and came
ever so close to leading Freedom to an upset over a VERY POWERFUL 2016 Liberty team.
Ever since then he has been the picture of consistency and really the catalyst for what became
one of Freedom's most successful seasons. He has the perfect size and athleticism for the
position and it was always on display. Most importantly he cares. Derek was 2nd Team ALL
EPC this year ... apparently the EPC can't have ties like the Bethlehem Futbol Factory!
Thanks to all the teams, players and coaches for working so hard to put Bethlehem, PA on the
soccer map. It was one to remember...let's keep building it up! Have a great 2019!