Tim Sost of Egg Harbor Township High School, who scored 14 goals this season, is The Press' high school boys soccer Player of the Year. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Tim Sost has the talent.

The Egg Harbor Township High School senior striker could easily bury his head, forget about looking to make the extra pass and add a few goals to his personal total.

"That's not me," Sost said. "That's not how I am."

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Sost led the Eagles with 14 goals this season, but that isn't the first thing he mentions when talking about his final high school season.

He would rather talk about the 10 assists he dished out.

"I look to have more assists more than goals," Sost said. "Obviously, strikers have to be greedy, but I'm not trying to dribble through the whole team and bury it myself."

Sost's unselfishness was a big reason the Eagles had the top season in school history.

It's also a big reason why Sost is The Press Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

"I would rather be the guy scoring and producing the goals but still dishing it out too," Sost said.

Another one of the first things Sost points out about the team's season is how proud he was that so many different Eagles scored this season - 14 to be exact.

"I like seeing other people score," Sost said. "That just shows that you're a well-balanced team and that's what I think is the best team."

He must be on to something.

The Eagles won a school-record 15 games on their way to the school's first Cape-Atlantic League American Conference title.

They also earned the school's first-ever invite to the South Jersey Coaches Tournament.

But Sost and the Eagles weren't happy with simply being invited.

The senior captain (on a team with 15 seniors) broke free in the fourth minute of overtime and gave Egg Harbor Township its first win in the prestigious tournament with a golden goal.

"He's a kid that it doesn't take long for him to change the game," Egg Harbor Township coach Pete Lambert said. "Not every player has it but he has that knack, that instinct of finding the goals and that's why he's special."

Sost's freshmen year was Lambert's first season as varsity coach.

Lambert saw his talent right away.

Sost was one of the few bright spots in a two-win season as he finished tied for the team lead in goals with three.

Sost led the team in goals with nine during a seven-win season as a sophomore and led the team to a winning 12-4-3 record with 14 goals last season.

"On the ball and around the ball, from the locker room to the field, he's a leader," Lambert said. "I could have made him a captain as a sophomore. I saw the potential in him and the leadership qualities in his eyes.

"From the day Timmy came in, he believed in the program and he believed in himself and I knew he could put a team on his shoulders."

Sost was named first-team all-South Jersey (along with teammate Nate Tomassone). He earned MVP honors for Team Gold in the all-South Jersey game and led the CAL American team to a 4-1 win against CAL National in the CAL All-Star game with two goals.

Richard Stockton and Arcadia are among a handful of colleges that have shown interest in Sost.

"Now that we are all seniors, it was a good way to end the year," Sost said. "We made our mark on the school. We went out with a bang.

"It was a great team with great coaches. I'll remember this year for the rest of my life."

Team of the Year

This was the season Aaron Bogushefsky was thinking about during back-to-back substandard years, at least by Ocean City standards.

The Red Raiders didn't disappoint. Ocean City bounced back from a 2-3 start to the season with a 16-game unbeaten streak that included an eight-game shutout streak.

"I knew we took our bumps and bruises the years prior," Bogushefsky said. "I knew we always had a team that was able to win like this and they finally realized it too."

Ocean City finished 17-3-2 and made it all to way to the South Jersey Group III final, where it lost in a penalty kick shootout to Timber Creek.

The Red Raiders finished No. XXXXXXX in The Press Elite 11, the highest ranking of any area team.

"It was a special season in two ways," said Bogushefsky, in his third season as head coach. "It was a group of 11 senior starters, which is rare. It was also the group I started my varsity coaching with. We kind of grew and learned together so it was even more special to me that way."

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Coach of the Year: Lacey Township's Joe Humenik

Lacey Township coach Joe Humenik knew before the season started that he was working with a special team.

"We knew from day one and the kids knew that we had something special," Humenik said.

The 2011 Press Coach of the Year was right.

"It was exciting when we were on the field in practice and in the games," Humenik said. "The guys had a lot of fun and as a coach, that's what you want to see.

"We played 24 games this year and I think they bought into the fact that hard work does get you somewhere every time we played."

Lacey won a school record 19 games. The Lions (19-4-1) won the Shore Conference B-South title for the first time in 15 years and reached the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament for the first time in 10 years. Lacey also reached the semifinals of the South Jersey Group III tournament for the second straight season.

A look ahead

The Cape-Atlantic League American Conference will be an interesting race next season.

Conference champ Egg Harbor Township graduates 15 seniors, including Player of the Year Tim Sost.

CAL American Division II champ Ocean City had 11 senior starters this season.

St. Augustine Prep graduates 11 seniors, most of which were starters, and Absegami losses almost its entire defense.

Sacred Heart has been dominant in the CAL National of late. The Lions won their second straight conference title and sixth straight division II title within the conference.

Sacred Heart will be hit hard by graduation but does return Steven Tobolski, who just finished a 17-goal freshman campaign.

Lacey Township won the Shore Conference B South Title this season and returns Kevin Tonkovich, who led the Lions with 22 goals and nine assists this season as a junior.

Sost's season highlights

• Led Egg Harbor Township in scoring with 14 goals. Also had 10 assists.

• Led the Eagles to a school-record 15 wins and their first Cape-Atlantic League American Conference title.

• Scored the winning goal in overtime to give EHT its first win in the prestigious South Jersey Coaches Tournament.


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