The local schools took home two of the HDL's top three honors. Spanish Springs senior Laura Voss capped a stellar prep career by leading the Cougars to the best season in their 10-year program's history. She paced the SSHS squad in scoring with 16 goals this fall and led the Cougars to a second-place finish in the HDL, which resulted in its first home playoff match. Her skills led conference coaches to vote her offensive player of the year.
“The thing that makes her such a good player is her work ethic,” Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said. “She shows up every day and works her tail off, no matter the conditions. You never hear her complain. She works hard and is positive. A lot of times you may see some of the better players in this league maybe take it easy. But Laura's not like that. She works hard all the time, everyday she's on the field.”
At Reed, RHS senior Savannah Gobelman ended her high school career on a high note by garnering the HDL's defensive player of the year award. Gobelman is a four-year varsity letter winner at Reed and helped the Raiders to postseason berths in all four of her seasons, including North State titles as a freshman and sophomore.
“It's a fantastic honor for Savannah,” Reed coach Jason Saville said. “We felt as a coaching staff she probably deserved it last year, but that's the way things go down. You have to wait your turn sometimes. Her number came up this year. She has fought through lot of adversity.”
Reno High senior Mara Bensing was picked as the league's midfielder of the year while Huskies coach Shelly Gamble was named coach of the year after leading Reno to the HDL's regular season crown.
In addition to Voss, Spanish Springs saw nine players earn all-league honors, including three who were chosen to the HDL's first team. Junior Megan Evans was a first-team forward for the Cougars while Alyssa Bertuleit was a first-team midfielder. SSHS senior Erica Lorenz captured the league's first-team slot at goalkeeper.
Spanish Springs got four players on the HDL's second team. Senior Lindsey Pengelley and freshman Kiley Diesner grabbed those honors in the midfield while freshman Karen Corral and senior Shelby Moore did so as defenders.
Two other defenders for Spanish Springs, seniors Caitlin Moreland and Bianca Hansen, were honorable mention selections.
“I felt good about our representation,” Faker said. “I felt all the kids that got on, all deserved it. A few coaches didn't come to the all-league meeting so there were probably a few kids left out from other teams, but all the Spanish Springs kids deserved it.”
Reed, which finished third in the final HDL standings, got eight players, in addition to Gobelman, named in the all-league awards parade. Senior Taylor Ryckebosch was a first-team forward while Jessie senior Eiting and freshman Kennady Whitehead were first-team midfielders. Another Raiders freshman, Aubrey Ciesynski was a first-team defender.
“Four first teamers is not something we've accomplished in a while,” Saville said. “Those kids are great. With Aubrey and Kennady just being freshmen, that bodes well for our program. Jessie and Taylor will be sorely missed. They were co-captains for us this year. It's nice to send them off with accolades that fit the season they had.”
Sophomore forward Katelyn Raatz was the Raiders’ lone second-team honoree.
A trio of Raiders garnered honorable mention status. Sophomore forward Taylor Wiebke was one. The other two were sophomore Sarah Good and senior Linnette Jessop, both in the midfield.
At Sparks, the Railroaders got five players named to the 3A North Sierra League's all-star lists. Senior Jessica Mendoza led the way for Sparks, earning a first-team midfielder selection. Ivette Mendoza was a second team forward for the SHS squad.
“Jessica was the big winner for us,” Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. “She was a unanimous choice. for us. She was our leading scorer and field general. All the coaches knew. They saw quality in her. She's a first teamer all the way.”
Four Sparks girls were placed on the all-league honorable mention list. Sparks midfielder/forward Maria Sanchez and midfielders Clarisa Jacinto and Evelyn Jacinto comprised that group. Sophomore Val Guerrero was the honorable mention goalkeeper.
“Six kids is good, but you always want more,” Miller said. “Val did a great job for us and I would've liked to have seen her higher up. She was awful strong. We hope to get her first or second team next year.”