Salado's Tristan Bragg battles Nacogdoches' Rudy Fuentes for the ball during playoffs Thursday evening at University High School in Waco.

Tristan Bragg often peruses the Killeen Daily Herald to keep up with other local soccer teams.

The Salado soccer player also generally gives the Player of the Week nominees a glance.

But last week, there was a surprise waiting for him at the end of his reading.

“I always check out ‘Player of the Week,’ and I saw I was on there and I was like, ‘wow,” Bragg said.

But for Bragg, the excitement didn’t end with his nomination.

Bragg, who scored four goals in a win against Lorena and two in a win against Lampasas, ran away with the vote and earned the Player of the Week honors.

Copperas Cove pitcher Charlie Folger was the runner-up after pitching a two-hit shutout and striking out eight in a 9-0 win against Gatesville.

Also nominated was Killeen senior Daniel McCants, who earned high-point honors at the Killeen ISD Invitational Track Meet, and Belton sophomore Sidney Holman, who pitched a perfect game in a four-inning victory against Harker Heights.

The voting didn’t end until 4 p.m. Thursday, but Bragg had the award pretty much locked up, leading the voting by 205 votes Wednesday evening.

He finished with 353 votes, 81 percent of the total vote.

Bragg was just as surprised that he dominated the vote as he was to be nominated.

“It feels really good — really cool, really good,” he said.

Bragg also was feeling well against Lorena, when he scored a career-high four goals in a Salado win.

Ironically, the game began with multiple missed opportunities by Bragg close to the goal.

“I was thinking, ‘Today’s not my day to score,’” he said.

That changed when Bragg got the elusive hat trick. He had scored two goals multiple times this season but never more.

Bragg said the feeling, after scoring the fourth goal, was surreal.

“It’s like an adrenaline rush,” Bragg said. “You kind of feel like you’re on top of the world, like you’re invincible — you’re running around and you’re not getting tired.”

Bragg said his teammates were as happy for him as he was for himself.

Now they have something else to celebrate in Bragg’s Player of the Week landslide win.

Contact Jordan Mason at or 254-501-7562​

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