Friday, December 27, 2002
By Walt Pericciuoli
Konopka, who is also a long-time member of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club, is one of seventeen New Jersey high school players named to the 2002 NSCAA / adidas High School Boys Region II All-America Team and only one of three players so honored from the Shore Conference.
Region II of the NSCAA includes all high schools from the four states of NJ, NY, PA and DE.
The other two players from the Shore Conference who were named to the 2002 NSCAA / adidas High School Boys Region II All-America team are Eddy Mallue form Brick Memorial High School and Tom Gray from Middletown South High School.
All members of all the 2002 NSCAA / adidas High School All-America teams will be recognized at the 2003 NSCAA Annual Meeting and Convention which will be held from January 15th to 18th in Kansas City, MO.
The NSCAA is the largest coaches' organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1941, it has grown to include more than 16,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport.
Konopka has verbally committed to attend Providence College and will sign a National Letter of Intent during the NCAA men's soccer signing period in February. He will continue his soccer career under Friar's Coach Chaka Daley at the BIG EAST school in the fall.
At the high school level, Konopka is a three-year varsity starter for Coach John Crowley and the Raiders of Toms River East. He was named team co-captain in his senior year.
As a senior he led TRE to a 9-9-2 mark and a berth in the NJSIAA State playoffs. In 20 games Konopka allowed 25 goals for a GAA of 1.25 per game, made 133 saves for a SPG of 6.65, had a save percentage of 84.18% and recorded 4 shutouts.
Konopka was also honored as one of New Jersey's top 3 high school goalkeepers in 2002 receiving 2nd team All-State, 1st team All-State Sectional (Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer and Middlesex counties), 1st team All-Conference (Shore), 1st team All-County (Ocean) and 1st team All-Division (A-South) honors from the Soccer Coaches Association of New Jersey.
In addition, Konopka received 1st team All-County honors from the Ocean County Observer and 2nd team All-Shore Conference honors from the Asbury Park Press. He also received 1st team All-Ocean County and 3rd team All-State Group IV honors from the Newark Star Ledger for his efforts this year.
Konopka was also named to the New Jersey All-State Senior All-Star team. He represented the Central team in the 2002 New Jersey All-State Senior Showcase game which was held on December 14th at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.
Konopka finished his 56 game high school career with an overall record of 26-23-7. He allowed only 66 goals and has a career GAA of 1.18. Konopka made 402 saves, had a SPG average of 7.18 and save percentage of 85.90% in his 3 years at TRE. He also recorded 14 shutouts, just one short of matching the all-time Toms River East High School shutout record.
Konopka also received All-Conference, All-County and All-Division honors for his high school goalkeeping efforts as an underclassman.
At the club level, Konopka was a part of the Jersey Shore Boca USL Super Y-League teams for 2002 and 2001. He was named the USL Super Y-League "National Player of the Week" on May 21, 2001 for his 11 save effort against national powerhouse FC Delco.
He is also a current member of the United States Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Program team and a four-year member of the New Jersey ODP state team.
Konopka who stands 6'4" and weighs 200 lbs. was also nominated for the prestigious Adidas ESP program in 2002 and 2001.
Academically Konopka is a 4-year honors student at Toms River East. He has a 3.88 GPA and ranks in the top 20% of his senior class of 469 students. He plans to peruse a computer graphics and design major at Providence.
The Jersey Shore Boca soccer club has been in existence for over 20 years and is one of the most respected soccer clubs in New Jersey. The club is based out of Toms River and programs include youth level teams from U11 to U19, a U20-U23 program and men's "open" team. The club will celebrate their 25-year anniversary in 2003.
Boca is also one of the newest members of the Premier Development League of the United Soccer Leagues and will begin play in the PDL during 2003. Jersey Shore Boca is also a three-year member of the USL's prestigious elite Super Y-League.
In addition to Konopka, Boca alumni include several former National and Olympic Team members as well as numerous collegiate DI, DII & DIII players, coaches and former local high school standouts.
One of the most recognized Boca alumni is current U18 United States Men's National Team & University of Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch who played under Boca's Director of Coaching Walt Pericciuoli. Gelnovatch starred at Wall High School in the 1980s.
For additional information, quotes or questions contact:
Craig Bohnert - NSCAA Executive Director of Communications 913-362-1747
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