“This time of year is kind of hard all the way around because everybody is deserving of an award,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “We represented ourselves very well. We emphasize team play and I was glad to see the boys that did get noticed.”
The Railroaders led the parade of honors, collecting 12 Mount Rose All-League selections. Heading the Maroon and Gold class was Hector Hernandez, who was named the Offensive Player of the Year.
Behind Hernandez a group of five Railroaders garnered first-team recognition. Ruben Pacheco and Kevin Partida filled in the forward spot, Vicente Cervantes and Juan Hernandez took the midfielder spots and Alvaro Medina at defender.
On the second team, Sparks warranted two recipients as Oscar Gomez and Luis Geisendorf occupied the forward and defender positions, respectively.
Honorable mentions went to Cesar Arroyo, Joseph Dominguez, Renaldo Hernandez and Jose Rios.
Following a 27-2 season and a state runner-up finish in Division I-A, Avilla said he was more than pleased with the credit the Railroaders received.
“It’s just a blessing,” he said. “It shows how hard our kids have worked. To be able to see the kids mature on the season and over the years has been amazing. We have a good corner of soccer going on over there, there’s no question about it. The kids just love the sport. They take pride in what they do themselves, in their team and in their school.”
•At Spanish Springs, the Cougars fell a shootout short of a trip to state and eight High Desert All-League selections reflected the Purple and Silver’s accomplishments this season.
“I think we did pretty well this year,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. “We finished second in zone and I think that justifies us having eight guys making all-league.”
Senior forward Julio Soto took the top honor for the Cougs, being named the HDL Offensive Player of the Year. Moreland said it was a well-deserved award.
“Julio is a natural scoring machine,” he said. “He has the mentality of a forward and the skills of a forward. He’s just perfect for that award because he was the best offensive player this year.”
Spanish Springs landed a pair of defenders on the HDL’s first team as Jonathan Garcia and Manny Medina were recognized.
Second-team acknowledgement for the Cougars went to forward Ricardo Camacho, defender Lasse Enevoldsen and goalkeeper Omar Trujillo.
Edwin Medina (forward) and Christian Gonzalez (midfielder) received honorable mention picks.
Although Spanish Springs’ HDL counterpart Reed did not make an appearance in the playoffs, the Raiders outpaced their cross-town rival in all-league awards with nine.
“The coaches couldn’t be any prouder,” Reed coach Joel Martinez. “Coming into the season, that was kind of the goal that we had for one another. We asked them individually before the season what it is that they wanted and a lot of them got that. All the kids wanted to be recognized on some level and a lot of them got that. I don’t think our record indicated how the season went. We had nine guys nominated so I think we have a really bright future ahead of us.”
Raider goalkeeper Josh Reyes received the highest recognition from the HDL coaches as he was named the Goalkeeper of the Year.
Reed also had three players named to the first team with Kenny Malizia at forward and Christian Martinez and Jonathan Stacy at the midfield positions.
Second-team honors went to two Raider midfielders, Alex McPartland and Gonzalo Arrellano. Danny Hernandez (midfielder), Cesar Calix and Jairo Segura (defenders) rounded out the RHS haul with honorable mentions.
“I don’t know if Reed has ever had nine guys recognized,” Martinez said of the Raiders’ tow. “As a team it makes us feel comfortable and gives us that confidence for next year that we have the players and the talent to compete at a higher level. That’s what we’re shooting for next year.”