Brock Netter, Staff Writer
One state semifinalist, three district champions, and a handful of sectional title winners … needless to say, this past boys soccer season was as successful as they come.
Southern Ohio Sports Authority was right there every step of the way, covering individual milestones, improbable feats and wins that changed history.
After a fun-filled year, take a look at our All-Area team, which consists of 30 area players who were at their best throughout the fall season.
Cole Conaway | Senior | Midfield | Logan Elm
It was a roller coaster of a season for the Braves, but Conaway was the constant piece they could always rely on. Anytime the ball was at his feet, there was always a chance something positive was going to happen. He finished the season with 13 goals and a pair of assists for the 8-win Braves, earning himself first-team MSL and first-team all-district honors.
Levi Coriell | Senior | Goalie | Minford
Coriell may have been a little inexperienced as a goalie, but standing at 6-foot-4 certainly helps when strikers try to aim high. In 20 games this season, Coriell allowed just 19 goals and pitched nine shutouts while coming through with 55 saves for the SOC II champion Falcons. He was named the SOC II Defensive Player of the Year and honorable mention all-district.
Adam Crank | Senior | Midfield | Minford
On a team filled with outstanding talent, you still need a glue guy that holds everyone together and accountable. That’s where Crank thrived, and his leadership on the field was a huge part of the Falcons claiming a district championship. He found the back of the net 11 times and passed out 11 assists, earning first-team SOC II and first-team all-district honors.
Isaac Crawford | Senior | Forward | Chillicothe
The Cavaliers got back to the basics and their championship ways this season. Crawford had a big hand in them doing so. A smooth operator on the pitch, his decision-making often led to setting up teammates to score or simply finding the back of the net himself. It paid off as the Cavaliers claimed a Gold Ball while Crawford earned all-FAC and honorable mention all-district honors.
Max Hagans | Sophomore | Forward | Wheelersburg
Possibly no player in the area stepped up and took on a bigger role than Hagans did this season. But even with that pressure, he handled himself like a true veteran. Crafty with the ball at his feet, he paved the way for the Pirates to repeat as district champions by scoring 25 goals and passing out 14 assists. That was more than enough to earn honors as first-team SOC II and first-team all-district.
Nolan Haislop | Senior | Midfield | Jackson
Jackson faced an uphill battle by replacing eight starters, so experience was limited. But the Ironmen still had Haislop in their back pocket and used him at every turn possible. Patrolling the midfield with a physical presence and a powerful leg to pair, he found the back of the net 10-plus times. He earned himself all-FAC and first-team all-district honors.
Lucas Hanes | Sophomore | Forward| Unioto
Maybe this is a bold statement, maybe not, but Hanes is the best player in Southeast Ohio. His numbers and play back it up. He scored 37 times, including all five goals in regional action and passed out 18 assists throughout the season. He was named the SVC Player of the Year and was a first-team all-district and second-team All-Ohio honoree. Oh yeah, he still has two years left. Getting ready for more magic.
Christian Hoskins | Senior | Forward| Eastern Brown
The Warriors were a pesky group all season, losing a handful of games by one goal. Although the end result wasn’t desired, Hoskins had a lot to do with keeping them in games and winning a few of them as well. He found the back of the net 27 times and collected five assists, which earned him all-SHAC and first-team all-district selections.
Brayden Jarrell | Senior | Defender | Zane Trace
Part of Zane Trace’s resurgence was having that defensive toughness and shut down mentality. That’s where Jarrell thrived at as part of the last line of defense in the back row as the Pioneers allowed just 1.7 goals per game. Jarrell’s contributions doing the dirty work earned him first-team SVC and first-team all-district honors.
Zachary Johnson | Junior | Forward | Ironton St. Joe
Johnson somewhat flew under the radar last season for the Flyers, but he was still excellent. This year, he was no secret, but it didn’t matter. When the ball was at his feet, it was a near automatic goal. Helping the Flyers to 12 wins this season, Johnson was a wizard with the ball as he cored 30 times and dished out 20 assists, earning himself first-team SOC I and first-team all-district honors.
Michael Lapurga | Senior | Defender | Chillicothe
Lapurga is simply a pest on the soccer field, and we mean that in the nicest way possible. Wherever the ball is, there’s a good chance No. 3 is sprinting down the field getting to it. He’s as physical of a defender as there is in the area, but he’s also slippery enough to find the back of the net if he gets the chance. His tenacity earned him all-FAC and first-team all-district honors.
Nfanly Mara | Senior | Forward | Miami Trace
Miami Trace was up and down all season, but when it needed to be at its best, it didn’t miss and put the ball at Mara’s feet to connect. He helped guide the Panthers to seven wins and a sectional championship, scoring 14 goals and passing out six assists on the season. That was enough to earn him all-FAC and first-team all-district honors.
Zane Miller | Senior | Forward | Minford
Captain. Playmaker. Gamechanger. That’s Miller’s impact on the field. Give him an inch of space and he’ll make a mile out of it. He’s that dangerous on the field, and the numbers back him up as he found the back of the net 26 times and handed out six assists. He was named the SOC II Player of the Year, the Division III District Player of the Year and was a first-team All-Ohioan for the district champion Falcons.
Ethan Nelson | Senior | Forward | Zane Trace
The Pioneers were fortunate to have three guys who all netted over 10 goals, but Nelson was their go-to guy. Operating as a quick decision-maker and a smart one at that, he rarely squandered any opportunity, which always turned into a goal as he netted 28 of them alongside eight assists. He was named first-team SVC, first-team all-district and second-team All-Ohio for the sectional champion Pioneers.
Andrew Newland | Senior | Midfield | McClain
It wasn’t the FAC winning season it had last year, but McClain still had some bright spots this fall. Newland was one of them. His knack for finding the open teammate for a goal was one of the best in the area as he passed out 15 assists to pair with finding the back of the net seven times. He was named all-FAC and first-team all-district.
Noah Perry | Senior | Forward | Miami Trace
Perry wasn’t known for his scoring abilities, but his passing ability alongside other various intangibles made him dangerous on the field. He scored four times, but set up his teammates 10 times while helping them to wins over Hillsboro and Jackson, the latter being for a sectional championship. He was named all-FAC and second-team all-district.
River Pettigrew | Sophomore | Midfield | Unioto
Teammate Lucas Hanes garners a lot of attention, but Pettigrew is just as dangerous with the ball at his feet. It’s pretty much a pick your poison situation. With ball control that matches anyone in the area, he sliced and diced his way to 14 goals and 13 assists for the district champion Shermans. That solidified his spot as first-team SVC and second-team all-district. He also has two years left.
Cory Reed | Junior | Forward | Peebles
Its quite possible Reed is the most unselfish player in the area. He’s always looking for his teammates for open opportunities, but also knows when it’s his turn to take the ball himself. He connected on 18 goals, but passed out an unreal 29 assists as he helped the Indians win a sectional championship. He was an all-SHAC and first-team all-district selection.
Jackson Schwamburger | Junior | Midfield | Wheelersburg
There wasn’t an all-state forward to score up top for the Pirates, but they still possessed a ton of talent with Schwamburger at the top of the list. He navigated his way to helping them win 15 games, which included him scoring 13 goals and dishing out a team-best 19 assists. He earned himself first-team SOC II and first-team all-district honors for his efforts.
Ashton Sigler | Senior | Defender | Unioto
Sigler has been a captain of Unioto’s soccer team since he was a sophomore. Not bad for someone who was a little hesitant to even try to play at first. He was the glue that held the Shermans together in moments of chaos as they made their run to a Division II state semifinal. He was named first-team SVC and second-team all-district.
Mason Sims | Junior | Forward | Peebles
If it wasn’t Reed scoring for the Indians, it was Sims. Either way, the back of the net was going to be found. Sims was the main recipient of Reed’s passes, but also had no problems taking the ball himself as he scored 34 times. But he was also unselfish as he dished out 18 assists, leading the Indians to a district final appearance. He was named all-SHAC and first-team all-district.
Austin Sommers | Senior | Forward | Valley
Just running straight down the field, it’s possible that no one is faster than Sommers. His speed on the soccer field was his greatest weapon, but he had the foot skills to match. The senior striker connected on 30 goals and passed out 13 assists — both team-highs for the 16-win Indians who claimed an SOC I championship. He was named SOC I Player of the Year, first-team all-district and second-team All-Ohio.
Bryce Stuart | Senior | Midfield | Valley
Stuart is nothing but pure hustle on the soccer pitch. He’s also a mismatch considering he’s 6-foot-3, something Valley used on occasions. But he cruises and controls the midfield with the best of them, and was able to rack up 11 goals alongside four assists for the sectional champion Indians. That earned him first-team SOC I and first-team all-district honors.
Cam Thompson | Sophomore | Defender | Unioto
Thompson’s role was simple. Don’t let anyone pass, and he excelled at every facet of his job as part of a defense that allowed 25 goals in 22 games, or 1.1 goals scored per night. Thompson’s play continued to elevate as Unioto went deep in the tournament. He earned himself a first-team SVC and first-team all-district nod.
Jonny Weaver | Senior | Forward | Amanda-Clearcreek
The Aces had their struggles, however, they also knew that anytime they were in a jam, Weaver was right there to bail them out. Weaver found the back of the net 24 times this season. Why is that so significant? The Aces scored 33 as a team. He was that lethal with the ball at his foot, which earned him honors as the MSL Player of the Year.
Landon Weber | Senior | Midfield | Hillsboro
Hillsboro’s season started off 2-7-1, and it appeared as if the problems would continue. However, it hit a hot streak down the stretch and Weber was the catalyst of the turnaround. He led the Indians to five wins in their last seven games and helped them win a sectional title in the process. He was named the FAC Player of the Year and was a first-team all-district selection.
Brady Voiers | Senior | Goalie | New Boston
Although the Tigers faced some problems throughout the season, Voiers did everything in his power as the last line of defense to keep them in every game. As the team’s goalie, he constantly threw his body in the air and on the ground with reckless abandon to make the save. He came up with 88 of them on the season, which earned him SOC I Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-district honors.
Brady Wood | Senior | Forward | Chillicothe
There are times it looks like Wood is simply playing streetball because he makes it look that easy on the field. The ball is simply a Yo-Yo on a string to him and his control, along with finishing ability, was among the best in the area. He led the Cavaliers to 10 wins and scored the game-winning goal to claim a sectional championship. He was an all-FAC selection, the Division I District Player of the Year and a second-team All-Ohio selection.
Trae Zimmerman | Senior | Midfield | South Webster
Pure athlete. Put Zimmerman on the field at any position and good things will happen. He possesses the speed to beat a back row, the IQ to know where the play is going and the playmaking ability to capitalize off what he sees. All of that equaled to helping the Jeeps win nine games, including a sectional championship. He was named first-team SOC II, first-team all-district and second-team All-Ohio.
Koben Zink | Senior | Forward | Fairfield
Fairfield was fortunate to have one of the better 1-2 punches in the area, and Zink never failed to come through for the Lions. Leading them to 11 wins this season, he found the back of the net 20 times and passed eight assists — both of which were team-highs. He was awarded all-SHAC and second-team all-district honors.
Honorable Mention Selections
Antonio Cruz, Unioto; Joe Lafreniere, Unioto; Ivan Chavez, Zane Trace; Connor Ball, Jackson; Mason Siberell, Chillicothe; Simon Brown, Chillicothe; Charles Phillips, Hillsboro; Reese Teeters, Fairfield, Cameron Campbell, North Adams; Landon Long, Logan Elm; Connor Bender, South Webster; Chris Queen, Valley; Myles Montgomery, Minford; Caleb Boyer, Waverly; Elijah Rowe, Ironton St. Joe