By: Tim Birney | NTL Sports | February 21, 2020 | Photo courtesy Tim Birney
ATHENS — Athens senior David Scheftic is ready to write the next chapter in his life, and he's found the perfect setting for the next four years. On Thursday, he signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play college soccer at Penn State-Behrend.
"I liked the coach, and I liked the team, and it’s a very good engineering school," said Scheftic.
"I met a few of the players, I met the coaches, and I did a tour of the campus," he added. "I liked everything about it."
PSU-Behrend coach Dan Perritano made quite an impression in their meetings, said Scheftic.
"I like how the coach talks to people," said Scheftic. "He's very direct, and he doesn't hide anything."
Longtime Athens coach Jake Lezak believes Scheftic, a four-year starter that starred on two District 4 title teams, has what it takes to play at the next level.
"Honestly, his work ethic will make him successful, and his talent level is right there where it needs to be," said Lezak. "He has the build, he has the speed, and he has the experience.
"He came in for us and started his freshman year, and made the state playoffs," noted Lezak. "He's played against guys who have gone to all divisions, and played at all levels with his club team traveling all over the place and playing at a very high level.
"All that provides him with the experience that when he steps on the field at Penn State (Behrend), it's going to transfer," added Lezak. "That shock factor, the wow factor, won't be there for him; that will be important."
Scheftic knows he has things to work on in order to play at the next level.
"I think I need to work on my passing, my vision of the field, and a few of my decisions."
Lezak said the "speed of the game" will be the biggest adjustment.
"One of things he’'l need to get use to is the speed of play, and he'll need to work on his individual speed.
"At the next level, when you’re taking all the best players and putting them together on teams, and then playing against each other, the speed of play is always there," said Lezak. "As opposed to intermittent throughout the game like you see in high school … everything is done faster, and quicker, so he's going to have to get use to that. I think that will be the biggest hurdle for him."
Scheftic plans on earning a Mechanical Engineering Technology degree.
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Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.
Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.
River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).