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Local athletes garner awards
by Dan Eckles
Nov 18, 2011 | 1861 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photos - Reed midfielder Kennady Whitehead (in white) and Spanish Springs senior forward Megan Evans (in purple) were both first-team all-High Desert League picks.
Tribune file photos - Reed midfielder Kennady Whitehead (in white) and Spanish Springs senior forward Megan Evans (in purple) were both first-team all-High Desert League picks.
The High Desert League’s postseason soccer awards list was released this week and a handful of Sparks-area athletes gave the list plenty of local flavor. Seven Reed and six Spanish Springs players are taking home all-league certificates after standout fall seasons.

Reed, the HDL runner-up, saw four players earn first-team honors. Junior Katelyn Raatz was a first-team forward for the Raiders. Sophomore captains Kennady Whitehead and Aubrie Ciesynski were selected as first-team midfielders. The other RHS first teamer was sophomore defender Stephanie Kester.

Spanish Springs was not left out in first-team representation. Senior forward Megan Evans and sophomore defender Karen Corral snared first-team honors for the Cougars. Evans had six goals and five assists to lead a Cougars team that struggled at times to find offensive punch. Her efforts accounted for half of the Cougars’ goals this fall.

“Megan could have played every position on the field,” Spanish Springs girls soccer coach Mike Faker said. “She could’ve been our goalkeeper, striker, center mid or center back. We had to move her around a bit. She was the backbone of this team ... Karen was absolutely solid all year. I believe she is the best defender in the league, but it’s hard for a defender to get much acknowledgement  because you’re not scoring a lot of goals. She’s poised and doesn’t get rattled. She plays well under pressure and was great for us all year.”

The second team saw a trio of Rail City athletes honored. Reed’s junior forward Laura Barrett was a second-team pick as were sophomore forward Kylie Diesner and senior midfielder Caitlin Moreland, both of Spanish Springs.

Junior Taylor Wiebke was an honorable mention forward for Reed. Freshmen Devin Switzer, a midfielder, and Cambria Croney, a defender also garnered honorable mention honors.

“I’m ecstatic with our representation,” Reed coach Jason Saville said. “Five of the eight are underclassmen and all eight are returning. First of all that’s exciting for the program and secondly it’s exciting for those individuals to get that achievement.

“Anybody that’s been around the game and knows it, can take a look and see what these kids do for us and how talented they are. When we needed things to happen, they were able to come through in the clutch for us. They seemed to be able to rise to the occasion.”

Senior midfielder Emily Gonzalez and sophomore Justice Corona made the honorable mention list for the Spanish Springs.

“Emily was a first-year varsity kid after playing three years on JV. For a kid to step up like that and be as effective as she was, that impressed all the league coaches,” Faker said. “And Justice was the fastest kid on our team. We used her to guard the fastest player on the other team and she did a great job.”

Reno freshman Ellie Small was the league’s offensive player of the year. McQueen sophomore Renee Palermo was the midfielder of the year and a pair of players shared the league’s defensive player of the honors, North Valleys senior Catie Barr and McQueen senior Andria Seymour. McQueen’s Roy Callahan was picked as the HDL coach of the year.

•In the 3A ranks, the Sparks girls soccer team did not qualify for postseason play, but it did see six players capture Northern 3A Sierra League all-conference awards. Zaira Lara was the Railroaders’ lone first-team honor. She was picked in the utility slot.

“That’s the perfect position for her,” Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. “She played forward, midfield and defense. She could play anywhere and she guarded the other team’s fastest player. I wish we could have cloned her.”

Defender Roxanna Herrera and goalkeeper Val Guerrero were second-team selections for the SHS crew. Forward Andrea Gumina, midfielder Ana Torres and defender Lesley Delariva all made the honorable mention roll.

“Even though we didn’t have great team results, we were much more competitive this year,” Miller said. “Other coaches recognized that and it showed in the voting.”
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