Salado head boys soccer coach Michael Goos did not present gaudy statistics like goals scored and total assists when he nominated Josh Rogers for District 34-4A MVP.
“Most of the time, when you put up a player (for MVP), you put up a midfielder or forward, someone (who has scored) in the high teens or 20 in goals and has a bunch of assists. With a defender, you can’t spout off stats like that,” Goos said. “He’s a junior and he’s a defender, but I think he must have made an impression on a bunch of the other coaches for them to remember who he was and for that many coaches to give him that vote.”
Rogers, one of the key reasons Salado’s defense posted six shutouts in 10 district games, was named the District 34-4A MVP and his junior teammate Chase Crenwelge earned co-Midfielder of the year Monday when the all-district team was released.
“I tell my players a lot, put those fires out and make things easy for our goalkeeper, and he really does that,” Goos said of Rogers. “He puts a lot of fires out there in the back and makes things easy on the other defensive players and makes life a little bit easier on our goalie.
“I really just think that’s how they (the other district coaches) remember him because defensively, he’s all over the place.”
Lampasas’ Josh Parish and Josh Barbero were the district’s Defensive and Goalkeeper MVPs, respectively, and Gatesville senior Franco Vega was named Offensive MVP.
“I think both (Josh Parrish and Josh Barbero) deserved it,” said Lampasas boys coach Ryan Race of his two superlative award-winners. “They were my two captains for a reason. They were both my leaders and, hopefully, Josh Parrish will continue to fill that role next year.”
Crenwelge shared the midfielder MVP with Brownwood senior Michael Westerman. The 34-4A champion Lions also had the district newcomer of the year, junior Dylan Person, and coach JB Gibbs was the district’s coach of the year.
Brownwood also had six other players represented on the all-district first team and five on the second team.
The Eagles, who finished 16-7-3 overall and reached the second round of the 4A playoffs for the second straight season, landed five on each team, including seniors Patrick Murray and Armor Wiraponsawan and juniors Clayton Cole, Daniel Lemus and Tristan Bragg. The Eagles’ soccer program, one of few 2A programs competing in soccer, just completed its second year of competition.
“We never have used that as an excuse, and we wanted to make it a point to be able to beat those 4A and 5A schools and compete with them,” Goos said. “Going forward, our ultimate goal this year was make the playoffs and win a district championship. We did one of those. … We knew what we wanted to do and came together and found a way to do it.”
The Hornets, who finished 7-10-2 and made the playoffs for the first time in the four-year history of their soccer program, had nine representatives on the all-district team, including four — seniors Sebastian Corrales, Rafael Reza, Chase Cole as well as sophomore Abate Hennessy — on the first team in addition to Vega.
“I put up Franco and the only thing I had to say was he scored nine goals in eight games. That pretty much sealed the deal,” Gatesville head coach Van Collins said of Vega winning offensive MVP. “He didn’t get to play two games in district because he was injured, so he really came through for us in the eight games in district. … He is the kind of senior leadership you need up front.”
Eight Lampasas players received either first- or second-team recognition and three others earned honorable mention and only Barbero was the only senior of the entire group. Junior Dustin Rumple and sophomores Michael Brazell and Nick Lawson made the first team for the Badgers, who also made the playoffs this season but lost to perennial soccer power Waco University in the first round.
“I still wish we could have Josh (Barbero) back for next year, but I’m looking forward to next year,” Race said. “Our ultimate goal that we talked about once the season was done was definitely to next year win a playoff game.”
ALL-DISTRICT 34-4A BOYS TEAM
MVP — Josh Rogers, Jr., Salado
Offensive MVP — Franco Vega, Sr., Gatesville
Defensive MVP — Josh Parrish, Jr., Lampasas
Midfielder co-MVPs — Chase Crenwelge, Jr., Salado; Michael Westerman, Sr., Brownwood
Goalie MVP — Josh Barbero, Sr., Lampasas
Newcomer of the Year — Dylan Person, Jr., Brownwood
Coach of the Year — JB Gibbs, Brownwood
Brownwood — Austin Snyder, Jr.; Dylan Martin, Sr.; Jacob Salazar, Sr.; Christian Lenz, Jr.; Tim Murphy, Sr.; Matt Pickard, Jr. Gatesville — Sebastian Corrales, Sr.; Abate Hennessy, So.; Rafael Reza, Sr.; Chase Cole, Sr. Lampasas — Michael Brazell, So.; Nick Lawson, So.; Dustin Rumple, Jr.; Robinson — Michael Betke, Sr. Salado — Patrick Murray, Sr.; Clayton Cole, Jr.; Armor Wiraponsawan, Sr.; Daniel Lemus, Jr.; Tristan Bragg, Jr.
Brownwood — Jared Fulton, So.; Nathan Ross, Jr.; Abraham Oviedo, So.; Johnny Montgomery, So.; Hugo Yebra, So. Gatesville — Ernesto Hernandez, Fr.; Alex Cardenas, Sr.; Thomas Trevino, Sr.; Jhovany Maldonado, So. Lampasas — AJ Hess, So.; Herman Torres, So.; Javier Torres, Jr. Robinson, Dylan Combs, Sr. Salado — Dennie Barker, Jr.; JP Michael, Jr.; Eric McGregor, Sr.; Mason Price, Jr.; Mason Birdy, Sr.
Gatesville — Dykota Smith, Jr.; Jared Kemp, Jr.; Jose Ruiz, So. Lampasas — Mason Morris, So., Alex Ruchlen, So.; Ryan Woods, Fr. Robinson — Jonah Salazar.
Staff writer Clay Whittington contributed to this report.