BLUFFTON — On the heels of his All-Great Lakes Region Team soccer selection earlier in the week, Bluffton High School’s Jonathan Schriner was just named to the United Soccer Coaches (USC) All-American Team.
Schriner, who plays striker for Bluffton, was one of 59 chosen out of a field of some 450,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. This pool is a combination of Division I, II and III teams.
Schriner was named 1st Team All-State in Ohio this season, as well as Northwest Ohio District Player of the Year for Division III. He scored 27 goals and had 17 assists, both team highs.
Last season Schriner was named 2nd Team All-State in the aftermath of a run that took Bluffton to the State Championship Game.
“I really want to emphasize that I would have never gotten this award, in my mind, without the help of my team and coaches,” said Schriner, a senior. “And I would trade this award in for being able to play one more game with these guys. I’m really going to miss them.”
Schriner added that the support of the town, and the support from his classmates and teachers as well, has been “tremendously inspiring” to him and his teammates.
Bluffton athletic director Alex Hannah said to his recollection Schriner may well be the first Bluffton soccer athlete with back-to-back all-state selections. And he is, for certain, the first soccer player in the program’s 30-year-history to be named All-American.
“Jonathan has really worked hard on his game, including in the weight room. He’s honed his skills and it has paid off,” said Hannah. “And this is also a tribute to the (BHS) soccer program and a special group of dedicated, and gritty, players in general.”
Hannah continued that Bluffton has always had a “quite respected program” in the region, and with the state-run last year, this ramped up the program’s visibility even more. And, in turn, this also generated additional regular season games against such high-profile Division I schools as Ashland and Perrysburg.
Bluffton head coach Steve Smucker said the All-American Selection Committee looks at an amalgam of a player’s statistics, his team’s schedule, the team’s record, and so on.
Besides being a prolific scorer, Smucker said Schriner “…is physically strong, plays with great pace, has a really nice touch, and is always thinking creatively on the field.”
And, echoing Hannah, the coach added that Schriner’s strong, consistent, work ethic has been a tremendous key to his success.