All Star Notebook: Nick Kocher, John Sobocinski honored along with all-star teams

Staff Reports

Dallas baseball pitcher Nick Kocher and Lake-Lehman track and field coach John Sobocinski lead the list of Back Mountain representatives on the Times Leader spring high school all-star teams that have been released in the past 2 ½ weeks.

Kocher was named Player of the Year for baseball. Sobocinski was named Coach of the Year for girls track and field.

During a 13-month stretch, beginning with the 2017 postseason, Dallas coach Ken Kashatus turned to Kocher to make eight starts in elimination games.

Kocher thrived under the pressure, winning seven of the games, leading Dallas to a state Class 4A championship and a stretch of 27 wins in 28 games before losing 1-0 to Valley View in this year’s District 2 final.

In this, his senior year, Kocher went 5-1 with an 0.88 earned run average and a 55-15, strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 innings. He also batted .340 with a team-high 15 RBI.

“It means a lot knowing that my coaches have confidence in me to give me the start in so many important games the past few seasons,” Kocher said.

Kocher plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh. For now, he is resting his arm before considering whether to attempt to make the baseball team as a walk-on.

Sobocinski guided a team that went 7-0 to win the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title a year after sharing the championship with Berwick.

Lake-Lehman also finished third in the District 2 Class 2A standings, claimed two district gold medals and one state medal.


Senior pitcher Josh Lydon, senior outfielder/pitcher Drew Patton and junior shortstop Will McCrum all represented Dallas’ WVC Division 2 champions on the 18-member, all-star team.

The team also included Tunkhannock senior outfielder Connor Munley.


Three Lake-Lehman athletes joined their coach in gaining recognition.

Seniors Jade Fry (1,600-meter run), Jace Garnick (400 dash) joined sophomore Sarah Salus, a district javelin champion, as first-team choices. Fry and Garnick were part of the district championship and state medal-winning relay team for the second straight year.

Senior sprinter Sam Mazula (100 dash) and hurdler Abby Zolner (300 hurdles) made the first team after leading Dallas to the WVC Division 1 title.

Dallas also placed three athletes – senior discus thrower Alicia Langan, sophomore 800 runner Missy Leonard and freshman 3,200 runner Kaitlyn Hodakowski – on the second team.


Tunkhannock sophomore high jumper Trejon Turner, a state fourth-place medal winner in Class 3A, made the first team.

The first team also includes Holy Redeemer junior 1,600 runner Lukas Volpetti, a Back Mountain resident.

Lake-Lehman put senior 800 runner Riley Newman, junior discus thrower T.J. Meehan and junior 300 hurdler Floyd McCroy on the second team.

The second team also includes Holy Redeemer junior Chris Banas, a Dallas resident, in the 400, along with Dallas senior 1,600 runner Josh Wyandt and Tunkhannock sophomore pole vaulter Dalton Yeust.


Christian Motley from Dallas made the first team for the third time. The junior long-stick midfielder was joined by repeat selections T.J. Herron, a sophomore attacker, and John Betzko, a junior on defense.

Dallas sophomore defensive midfielder Michael Starbuck and Tunkhannock junior goalie Sergey Montross were second-team selections.


Lake-Lehman landed senior attacker Alicia Galasso, junior attacker Katie Roberts, junior midfielder Jessica Evans and sophomore defender Mackenzie Lasinski on the first team.

Galasso, Roberts and Lasinski all moved up after making the second team last season.

Back Mountain residents Kaitlyn Metz, a senior defender, Mia Raineri, a junior goalie, and Nicole Joanlanne, a sophomore midfielder, were among Wyoming Seminary’s first-team choices after helping the Blue Knights to the WVC and District 2 titles.

Dallas second-teamers were senior midfielder Melinda Ratchford, senior defender Claudia Leu, junior attacker Lauren Delamater and junior midfielder Grace Young.

They were joined by Lake-Lehman senior midfielder Hallie Jenkins and junior goalie Grace Butler.

Staff Reports

Dave Rosengrant, Paul Sokoloski and Tom Robinson contributed to this report.Reach

Dave Rosengrant, Paul Sokoloski and Tom Robinson contributed to this report.Reach