By Nick Talbot
The Cove Herald
Carina Dunnahoo went from a role player - albeit an exceptional one - to the most valuable one on the pitch.
The Belton senior was named District 12-5A MVP last week, after scoring 27 goals and dishing out 19 assists and helping lead the Lady Tigers to the regional quarterfinals.
"When you create that many goals for someone else or for yourself it is worthy of an MVP honor," said Belton coach Barry Elkins. "Coming from a role player - an exceptionally good one - to the limelight, she was special. She is the one that took it up on her back when we lost a few players it is evident in the stats and in the game."
Dunnahoo's ability to create led to more goals for her teammates, including Hadley Young, who was named the district's Offensive MVP.
Young for her part, was unstoppable offensively. She set a team record with 41 goals, blowing away the old record of 33 set by Chelsea Jones in 2009.
"(Young) is a very motivated person," Elkins said. "She set a goal for herself that she wanted to be the all-time leading scorer and just kept going once she had it."
Belton dominated the first and second team selections with a whopping six first teamers and five second teamers.
Emily Krenek, Alex Burke, Kelsi Darr and Madi Coufal joined Dunnahoo and Young on the first team. Copperas Cove had three first teamers, including Shelbie Letzer, who was named the Newcomer of the Year.
"The cool thing was at the meeting when we actually brought her name up for nomination, everybody agreed with us, which is really kind of cool," said Cove coach Hagen Streckel, who was named the Coach of the year after leading the Lady Bulldawgs to the playoffs for the first time since 2001. "Everytime we stepped on the field, she made an impact against every team we played against."
Joining Letzer on the first team were Kristen Grant and Alyson Sinclair, who led Cove in goal and assists.
"It wasn't a total surprise, but it was really nice to see her finally reach her potential," Streckel said of Sinclair.
"Kristen developed into more of a team player for us," Streckel added. "Last year she was the go-to girl scoring 24 goals, and this year she kind of backed off on the goal count but she really helped with the assist count."
Ellison had two first teamers, Arantza Trejo and Katie Vichensont, and Harker Heights and Shoemaker each had one (Magaly Marin and Madi Woodard).
Emily Wylie of Temple was named the Defensive MVP and A&M Consolidated's Christina Salas was named MVP Goalkeeper.