David Murtaugh (left) of Starr\'s Mill and Salomon Lorenzano (right) of McIntosh share the boys Player of the Year honors.
This year may not have ended as hoped for the area's boys soccer teams, but it was not a bad season by any measure. Anything less than a championship may be a letdown for some of our teams, but qualifying five teams for the state playoffs is always an impressive accomplishment. Of those five time, four would also advance in the tournament.
Starr's Mill would go the farthest, pushing all the way to the Final Four. McIntosh made it into the Elight Eight before losing to the undefeated and eventual champion Lambert. Both Our Lady of Mercy and Sandy Creek made it to the second round. Whitewater rounded out the state qualifiers, beating the odds to make it there.
With another great season in the books comes the time to honor our finest boys soccer players with top awards and the naming of the All-County team.
A number of excellent players were in the running for Player of the Year, so many that the voting ended with a pair of players sharing the title in David Murtaugh of Starr's Mill and Salomon Lorenzano of McIntosh. Murtaugh, a forward, led a high-flying Panther offense with 26 goals and 10 assists. Lorenzano, a defender, was a dominating defensive presence who also made himself known on the attack with 10 goals and six assists.
Coach of the Year was a similarly tight race. A strong case could be made for most of the area coaches. In the end Josh Bush of Our of Lady of Mercy gets the nod, joining Kevin Nix of the Bobcat baseball team as award winners. Bush led the Bobcats to their finest season in school history, finishing with a 16-3 record. The Bobcats won their first ever state playoff game with a round one beating of Calvary Day. Bush also led Mercy to a 4-2 victory over Landmark Christian in the region championship game.
The All-County First Team is a squad that could no doubt match up against any All-Star group you could assemble.
David Murtaugh is joined on the front line by teammate Preston Gayton and Adam Rose of Our Lady of Mercy. Gayton racked up 16 goals and 11 assists. Rose led the Bobcats with a spectacular 24 goals, including a hat trick in both the region championship and the first round of the state playoffs.
The midfield is led by Tyler Dowse and Vojtech Martinek of McIntosh along with Justin Ross of Starr's Mill. Dowse led the Chiefs in scoring, tallying 17 goals and 10 assists. Martinek was right on his heels with 17 goals and seven assists. Ross was an all-around playmaker for the Panthers, racking up 16 goals and 20 assists.
The defenders are led by Salomon Lorenzano who is joined by his MHS teammate Westin Lendon, Troy Gainer of Whitewater, and Patrick Spencer of Starr's Mill. Lendon picked up seven goals and four assists for the Chiefs. Gainer split time between defense and forward for the Wildcats, leading the team with five goals and one assist. Patrick Spencer tallied seven goals and four assists as the Panthers' center defender.
McIntosh's record-setting keeper Josh Slepicka rounds out the first team.
The All-County second team is an impressive crew as well.
The forwards are Alex Bayard and Carson Brooks of McIntosh along with Whitewater's Drew Macuga. The midfield is led by Sandy Creek's Griffin Arlt who is joined by Fayette County's Ben Ojong and Our Lady of Mercy's Nick Wells. The defensive foursome is Weston Taylor and Marco Colonna from McIntosh with Starr's Mill's Kyle Durden and Sandy Creek's Kendall Davidson. Our Lady of Mercy keeper Josh Woolums caps off the second team.
As usual, another great group of players still deserve recognitions, earning themselves a spot as an honorable mention. Starr's Mill's honorable mentions are Tylan Jones, Channing Park, Thomas McCalla, and Jack Gayton. Fayette County's honorable mention is Matt Grbac. Whitewater's honorable mention is Nick Taylor. Our Lady of Mercy's honorable mentions are Jarrett Goodly, Nile Freeman, Zayd Johnson, and Peyton Cuttino. Sandy Creek's honorable mentions are Jose Anaya, Nick Karettis, and Grayson Harper. McIntosh's honorable mentions are Adam Sheikali and Lloyd Mohney.
Congratulations on another great season.