Grafton’s Pilarski, Wilde earn 2nd-team honors along with Port’s Bello, Helmstedt
Versatility abounds among local soccer players receiving All-North Shore Conference honors this fall.Alex Lorbecki
Singled out for their all-around skills, Grafton’s Wolfgang Pilarski and Jacob Wilde and Port Washington’s Alex Bello and Carlos Helmstedt were named to the all-league second team in a recent vote of coaches.
Pilarski and Bello both excelled in the midfield, where they sparked their teams’ transition games. Besides providing steady defense, they used their playmaking skills to score and set up teammates.
Pilarski, a junior, had nine goals and five assists for a Grafton squad whose 12-7-1 overall record included a 4-3 mark in conference play.
“Wolfgang was a solid midfielder who constantly put pressure on the other team,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said.
“He was a strong all-around player who was able to create a lot of mismatches for us.”
Bello was the top offensive threat for Port, which finished 1-6 in NSC games and 5-15-2 overall.
A senior captain, he led the Pirates with 14 goals and seven assists for all games and had two goals and two assists in conference matches.
“Alex was one of our leaders. He had a hand in about half of our goals this season, either by scoring or with an assist,” Port coach Mike Bultman said.
“Being a four-year varsity player, he was prepared to have a big senior season.”
Wilde and Helmstedt earned recognition as defenders.
Although Wilde had enough offensive talent to excel as a forward or midfielder, he was counted on heavily to help anchor the Black Hawks’ back line as a sweeper. His lone goal came in a league win over Milwaukee Lutheran.
“Jake just solidified our defense,” Arnold said. “He could have been a heck of a midfielder, but we needed him in back, and he really came through.”
A concussion sidelined Wilde for several games late in the season, but he returned to help Grafton win four of its last six games.
“You could really see the difference out there when we got him back,” Arnold said.
Helmstedt, a senior, led by example with his steady play as a three-year starter, according to his coach.
“Carlos was so integral to our defense,” Bultman said.
“He’s knowledgeable of the game and knew how to react to what he saw. You could always count on him.”
Helmstedt had one assist and scored his lone goal on a penalty kick.
Receiving honorable mention in the coaches’ balloting were Grafton’s Alex Lorbecki (forward), Jacob Kellett (midfielder) and Killian Mielotz (goalkeeper) and Port Washington’s Mitch Lemons (goalkeeper).
Lorbecki, a junior, had eight goals and seven assists.
“Alex one of our hardest-working players,” Arnold said. “He gave a great effort all the time and had one of the quickest, hardest shots on our team.”
Kellett, a junior, had 12 goals and three assists and was named the Hawks’ most valuable player.
“He was a dangerous player, a game changer,” Arnold said. “He was able to score, but he also created a lot of scoring opportunities for his teammates.”
Mielotz, a sophomore, again distinguished himself as one of the area’s top keepers. He posted six shutouts and “had some huge saves for us,” Arnold said.
Though small in stature, Mielotz used quickness and sure hands to stand tall in the net.
“Whenever anyone scored against him, there was nothing easy,” Arnold said.
Lemons, a senior, missed most of the season due to a knee injury but still made a big impression on NSC coaches. He had two shutouts.
“Mitch only played two full conference games (against Cedarburg and Grafton), but showed enough to get honorable mention,” Bultman said.
“That says something about his ability. There’s no doubt in my mind that if he would have played half the season, he would have been a first-teamer.”
The All-NSC first team included three players apiece from champion Whitefish Bay and Homestead and two each from Cedarburg and Nicolet.