Genoa’s Hemmert, Clay’s coach receive top billing

J. Patrick Eaken

After leading Genoa to a Northern Buckeye Conference championship, Genoa junior forward Aiden Hemmert is the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Player of the Year.

Hemmert, a Division III second team All-Ohioan and first team all-district player, was the NBC POY, leading the Comets to a 14-4-1 season and district semifinal appearance, where they lost to eventual state final four qualifier Ottawa Hills, 6-0.

Hemmert led the NBC with 76 points and with one year remaining he already has a career 129 points on 46 goals and 37 assists. He is the only player from the eastern Maumee Bay community to earn all-state recognition this year.

“Aiden has had a remarkable season scoring a very balanced 25 goals and registering 26 assists,” Genoa coach Tim Memmer said. “He was difficult to defend with his movement off the ball and ability to attack defenders on the dribble with speed. He is dangerous from either side of the goal.  

“He is a great finisher with either foot and powerful in the air. His control of the long throw-ins are more effective than most free kicks that put extensive pressure on the opposition.  He has provided consistent performance all season, scoring in every one of his games during the regular season, and actually he never scored more than three goals in any game,” Memmer continued.

“Obviously, he’s very unselfish with 26 assists. Aiden is very versatile — he has played holding-mid and center back when needed to close out close games.”

Genoa senior Tyler Welsh, the All-Press Goalkeeper of the Year, says Hemmert was deserving of the all-state recognition.

“I can talk for days about this kid,” Welsh said. “He is the nicest kid, and his athletic ability is through the roof. To score 25 goals in a season, that is crazy, and he is still up there with his assists. When I heard that he was second team all-state, I would say he deserved it. Of anyone on that field, he earned it. He worked for it.”

Hemmert returns the compliment, saying that without Welsh the season would not have been a success.

“It started back with our goalie Tyler Welsh. He was pretty solid all year long,” Hemmert said. “Our defense really had them in lockdown, I think. In comparison with the rest of the league, we gave up hardly any goals. Our midfielders had a good part in distributing the ball to us and also getting back on defense. It was just the complete speed and versatility of our front three and selflessness really, I think, is what sets teams apart like us.”

Genoa’s front three include junior forward Ethan Wilson (23 goals, 15 assists) and sophomore forward Griffin Meyer (21 goals, 17 assists). All three are first team All-Press selections and will return next year, setting a strong foundation for success next year. They helped the Comets outscore opponents 89-45 this year.

Hemmert says the biggest wins this year include defeating Lake 6-2 to clinch the NBC championship and a 3-2 overtime win over Pettisville to qualify the Comets for the district tournament with Wilson getting the winning goal. 

“Definitely the most exciting one was our second playoff game against Pettisville,” Hemmert said. “I got a through ball played into the corner, and I cut down the baseline and drew a foul. Evan Hoeft, the midfielder, played a perfect ball (free kick) and Ethan headed it backside.

“I’ll definitely remember the Pettisville game and the Lake game — those two were huge, and I’ll also remember the seniors most importantly.”

Hemmert says he has been playing soccer since he was 4 years old, or “as long as I can remember.” Over the years he has learned to never take any game for granted.

“Over the years, I would say that anything can happen at any point in time,” Hemmert said. “Everything can be going great for you and then all of a sudden the other team gains the momentum and you’re back in a corner, or vice versa, too. You could be back in a corner all game long until you find something that works.”

Hemmert says the coaching experience that Memmer brought to the team was invaluable, too.

“He never gave up on me which was great. I love playing with the team that I had and I’m really going to miss them next year,” Hemmert said.

Genoa has six players earn first team All-Press honors, followed by Clay, which has four. 


‘Shark in the box’

Clay coach Zachary Soncrant is All-Press Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 12-5 season, including wins over Perrysburg twice, Mansfield Madison and St. Francis, which kept them competitive in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, losing only to Findlay and St. John’s, both by 2-1 scores.

Two first team selections are senior forward Keeghan Calkins (17 goals, eight assists) and junior forward Zach Wells (13 goals, four assists).

 “(Keeghan) is one that I have personally had for four years. He wasn’t even a varsity starter but transitioned to a varsity starter as a freshman. I had him as JV coach for one-half season and the last three years I’ve been head varsity coach, so I’ve had him on my squad, and he’s just a work horse,” Soncrant said. “He does everything well. I never have to question his effort that he gives.” 

“I think we have one of the best two forwards (duos) in the league and I haven’t been able to say that the last two years, but it’s Keeghan and Zach Wells is our other one. Those two are playing tremendously well on top and realistically they are getting our good goals against some of these best teams. Zach is another one I don’t have to question his work ethic when he goes out on the field. He goes after every single ball and he’s a shark in the box.




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