The Sun One-On-One … with Washington Township senior Chad Yates

The Sun One-On-One … with Washington Township senior Chad Yates

Yates, the top scorer on South Jersey’s top soccer team, talks colleges, family, school, and which of his teammates he’d feel most comfortable getting behind the wheel with in a car.

Washington Township High School senior Chad Yates led the Minutemen with 20 goals last season and was off and running as a senior, scoring nine goals in the first 10 games of the 2018 season. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

Perhaps it’s in the genes.

Three years ago, Travis Yates, a goalkeeper, had to play up on the frontline as a senior at Washington Township. For the second straight season, Washington Township won a state championship, but this time with Yates leading the team in goals, not in goal.

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In the last two years, it’s been his kid brother, Chad, who has had the scoring touch for the Minutemen. Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Chad Yates has 28 goals, tops in the competitive Olympic Conference American Division.

Yates and Washington Township collected a 3–0 win over one of those division foes, Eastern, on Oct. 2 to run their overall record to 10–0. Afterward, he participated in the latest edition of The Sun One-On-One.

Washington Township High School senior Chad Yates stands among Eastern’s back line just outside the Vikings goal as they wait for a free kick. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

The Sun: Through the first month of the season you guys haven’t lost and are clearly the top team in South Jersey. What’s the potential for this team?

Chad Yates: I’d like to think it’s to go all the way, but I’m not trying to jinx us in any way. We definitely have the potential to keep winning games like this.

The Sun: Is it a superstition where you don’t want to talk about record?

Yates: Record doesn’t mean anything, I’ll say that. Game by game, we can win any game we go into, that’s how I feel.

The Sun: That’s a good mindset, if you act like you’re 0–0 going into every game, you feel like you have something to prove.

Yates: Yeah.

The Sun: You had a breakout year last year. What do you credit that to?

Yates: The team, honestly. I know everyone says that, but in reality that’s what it is. Without a good team beside me I’m not going to get the 20-goal mark that I had or anywhere near that. Having that team support, having the people around me creating those chances and helping me out, that’s definitely helped me get to that point.

The Sun: You seem talkative on the field.

Yates: I’ve always been talkative, sometimes negative, sometimes positive. I’m trying to be as positive this year because I’m a captain and that’s what me and the three other captains have to do. I just like to dictate the play and make sure everyone knows what they did right, and if they did something wrong, how to fix it.

The Sun: Who is the most underrated player on your team?

Yates: I don’t know if I could go individual player but I think our back line. All across. The back four. And the depth on the bench coming from the defense. I don’t think any individual player gets looked over, but as a whole, looking at our team, our midfield and forwards (we had) mostly since last year. The back line we graduated three of the four. So stepping up into there. Will Pollack, Justin Bautista, Josh Arakelian. And Sean Zemlak, a starter for the last two years.

Washington Township senior Arturo Serano (15) battles for possession while Jake Logar (12), Will Pollack (15), Justin Bautista, and Ryan Jobes (21) prepare to back up.

The Sun: If you were drafting a roster, who would you pick first?

Yates: Jake (Logar).

The Sun: Why?

Yates: He’s my best friend but that’s not the reason. He’s just one of those players that you hate to play against because he’s very good, he can dictate the whole game. And he can step up and be a leader at any time. He’s not one of those guys who just tells you what to do. If he tells you something, he’s most likely doing the same.

The Sun: How about if all of South Jersey was here and there was a pickup game, who are you picking first?

Yates: I think I have to go Jake again. He’s just one of those players I need to have next to me, if I’m playing in that game, I need him next to me playing.

The Sun: I know you’re close with a handful of guys on the team, having played together since you were kids, for 10 years. Let’s tackle that group. Who is the best driver?

Yates: The best driver? Hmm.

The Sun: Who do you feel the safest with?

Yates: I’m getting in the car with Jake again.

The Sun: Jake?

Yates: Definitely.

The Sun: This is like Jake’s profile piece, we should send it to colleges he’s applying to.

Yates: [Laughs].

Washington Township players celebrate a goal against Eastern. They won the game, 3–0, to sweep the season series. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun).

The Sun: Who’s the funniest?

Yates: We all have our times, but of that group of guys probably Arturo (Serano). He’s just goofy. Everyone has their moments but he always keeps you going. Laid back and just goofy.

The Sun: Who is the best at another sport?

Yates: Probably Brett (Guetens). He played basketball, freshman year I believe. He’s very athletic. We’re all competitive, but he’d probably top it off.

The Sun: Who is the best student?

Yates: Not one of those players I named, but Mike Mulvihill, he’s been one of the leaders on the bench, he’s also a captain. For sure, he has over 100 GPA.

The Sun: What’s your favorite school subject?

Yates: I would probably say math, but not the math I’m taking this year. Stats is not my thing. But throughout the years, definitely math.

The Sun: Do you have a favorite teacher?

Yates: I’ve had a couple. My gym teacher sophomore year, Michael Schatzman. He’s also our head football coach. I liked him a lot. And my Spanish teacher in sophomore and junior years, Senorita (Katy) Kelly. And coach (Shane) Snyder, he’s been a teacher but he’s also been my best friend since freshman year and before that when my brother played here.

Washington Township’s Chad Yates tries to cut his way through two Eastern defenders, Tanner Koch (8) and Antonio DiColandrea (7) as fellow Viking Stephen Hanscom (19) looks on. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun).

The Sun: I was just going to ask about that, your brother.

Yates: When we were freshman he was a senior (at Township). He played Varsity since his sophomore year.

The Sun: And he won a state championship, right?

Yates: He won two. Sophomore year he was playing goalie, they made it to the South Jersey final and ended up losing. Junior year he played goalie and they won. Then he tore his labrum in his arm and couldn’t play goalie so he played up front and led the team in goals. They won again that year. He’s at Stockton.

The Sun: Where are you going to play?

Yates: Looking at Rowan and West Chester right now. I think I’m going to lean more toward Rowan.

The Sun: It’s easy for your family to get to games.

Washington Township High School senior Brett Guetens heads a ball during the team’s recent game vs. Eastern. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

Yates: Yeah, five minutes from my house. My family likes to come to a lot of my games, they try to get out to as many as possible. With Rowan, it’s right there, and very competitive. A little too close to home for me, but it’s still fine.

The Sun: You can always get home for a home-cooked meal.

Yates: Exactly.

The Sun: Who is your favorite soccer player?

Yates: (Lionel) Messi, 100 percent.

The Sun: Your favorite Philadelphia athlete?

Yates: Joel Embiid.

The Sun: You like that big personality?

Yates: Yes. He sort of relates to me.

The Sun: If you could have a walk-up song when they announce your name in pregame intros, what would it be?

Yates: Oooooh yeah. “Hell’s Bells.” A throwback. I like the beginning with the bell’s ringing.

Washington Township poses for a group photo after clinching the conference championship. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)
Ryan is a veteran journalist of 20 years. He’s worked at the Courier-Post, Philadelphia Daily News, Delaware County Daily Times, primarily as a sportswriter, and is currently a sports editor at Newspaper Media Group and an adjunct journalism instructor at Rowan University.
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