.No county does it better than Fayette when it comes to consistent soccer success. The 2017 season was no different as 10 teams made the state playoffs, four made at least the quarterfinals, and two won state championships.
Great efforts were needed to push teams to the highest heights, and along with that comes end-of-the-year honors.
Among a deep field of choices, especially from his own team, Jacob Donaldson of McIntosh is the Boys Players of the Year. Donaldson, a junior. racked up 36 goals and 17 assists, along with All-Region and All-State honors.
Taylor Malasek of McIntosh is the Girls Player of the Year. Top honors were sealed up with an epic postseason run. A dominant force at forward all season, Malasek took her game to another level during the playoffs. She scored at least one goal in each postseason game, including a hat trick in the semifinals and 2 goals in the title game. On the season, she finished with 40 goals and 17 assists.
Watching him dazzle on the pitch, you would never guess he was a first-year player. Leo Bueno of Starr’s Mill is the Boys Freshman of the Year. Bueno posted 4 goals and 10 assists to earn All-Region honors.
Emerging on a talented young squad, Quin Nowicki of Starr’s Mill is the Girls Freshman of the Year. Nowicki moved between midfield and forward, notching 6 goals and 6 assists.
Playing with a bullseye on their back on year didn’t slow the Chiefs down en route to another state championship, and for that reason Bunky Colvin of McIntosh repeats as Boys Coach of the Year. The Chiefs rolled through the season finishing with a 22-1-0 mark and the sixth state championship in team history.
Among a county of excellent leaders, Marcia Clark is the Girls Coach of the Year. Randy Hayes and Whitewater were ranked nationally most of the year, and John Bowen held together Starr’s Mill for a quarterfinals berth despite an unbelievable rash of injuries, but it was Clark and the Lady Chiefs that came out on top of the state. Her squad battled through a brutal schedule, sitting at 5-5-1 and losing four straight midway through the season. They regrouped and won 10 of their last 11, including the program’s 11th state championship in 25 years.
The Boys All-County First Team is an awesome group.
On the attack are forwards Dylan Keysar of McIntosh, Sam Pompeo of Starr’s Mill, and Quentin Byrd of Whitewater. Keysar played the last 10 games at forward and piled up 11 goals and 5 assists on the year. Pompeo posted 19 goals and 2 assists. Byrd racked up 19 goals and 2 assists.
In the midfield are Takuma Suzuki of McIntosh, Patrick Bonilla of Starr’s Mill, and Jack Chenette of Whitewater. Suzuki earned All-Region and All-State honors along with 4 goals and 8 assists. Bonilla put up 7 goals and 6 assists. Chenette tallied 14 goals and 9 assists.
On the backend are defenders Mick Pattison of Starr’s Mill, Hagen Clements of Whitewater, and McIntosh’s Jacob Stevens and Logan Brown. Pattison grabbed All-Region honors with 1 goal and 5 assists. Clements piled up 8 goals and 10 assists. Stevens was chosen as Player of the Game for McIntosh in both the quarterfinals the championship. Brown scored the winning goal in the title game and earned All-State honors.
The First Team is rounded out by arguably the best keeper in the state, Noah Slepicka of McIntosh. Slepicka earned All-State honors and posted 15 shutouts with 64 saves.
The All-County Second Team is as good as any team you’ll find.
The forwards are Jesus Guerrero of Fayette County, Devin Dickinson of Whitewater, Jonathan Ulversoy of Starr’s Mill, and Sekani Burke of Sandy Creek. Guerrero notched 8 goals and 4 assists for the Tigers. Dickinson matched that with 8 goals and 4 assists for the Wildcats. Ulversoy tallied 4 goals and 15 assists. Burke contributed 6 goals and 2 assists.
The midfielders are Gus Fidler of McIntosh, Aaron Hauck of Fayette County, and Cesar Colindres of Sandy Creek. Fidler racked up 19 goals and 16 assists. Hauck posted 11 goals and 11 assists. Colindres tallied 5 goals and 4 assists.
The defenders are Sam Odutola of Fayette County, Sean Gravely of McIntosh, and Whitewater’s Jon Bloch and Jacob Benson. Odutola posted 5 goals as the Tigers’ captain. Gravely earned All-State honors with 1 goal and 3 assists. Bloch added 1 goal and 4 assists as a shutdown defender. Benson, a four-year starter, put up 2 goals and 3 assists.
The keeper is Michael Lantz of Starr’s Mill. Lantz led the Panthers to a second round playoff appearance.
With many more players deserving recognition, there are more to earn Honorable Mention. Fayette County’s honorees are Andy Hernandez and Victor Canas. McIntosh’s honorees are Jeffery Magee and Addison Dattilo. Whitewater’s honoree is Jacob Nelson. Our Lady of Mercy’s Aldahir Barrantes and Mason Longino both earn recognition.
The Girls All-County First Team is loaded with talent.
The forwards are Ansley Peurifoy of Starr’s Mill and Whitewater’s Abbie Crane and Madison Longley. Peurifoy posted 9 goals and 10 assists. Crane earned All-Region Player of the Year honors for her 31-goal, 8-assist campaign. Longley tallied 19 goals and 7 assists.
The midfielders are Kimmy Edgeworth of McIntosh, Sophia Bonser of Sandy Creek, Rachel Davison of Starr’s Mill, and Emily Petersen of Whitewater. Edgeworth earned All-Region honors for her work in the heart of the Chief attack. Bonser paced the Patriots with 15 goals and 8 assists. Davison, a unanimous All-Region selection, tallied 2 goals and 3 assists while working between midfield and defense. Petersen notched 13 goals and 9 assists.
The defenders are Ashton Nowicki of Starr’s Mill, Ally Smithwick of Whitewater, and McIntosh’s Chandler Witucki and Emma Whitson. Nowicki missed two weeks, but rebounded with 3 goals and 1 assist. Smithwick anchored a defense that allowed just 22 goals all season. Witucki was the heart of the Chiefs and an artist on dead balls. Whitson joined her to make the McIntosh defense impenetrable during the playoffs.
The First Team keeper is Spencer Dawson of Starr’s Mill. With injuries piling up in front of her, Dawson was a steadying presence for the Panthers, piling up 65 saves, 8 shutouts, and a 1.28 goals against average.
The Second Team is still loaded with skill.
The forwards are Devyn Smith of Fayette County, Tariah Miller of McIntosh, and Meritt Parker of Starr’s Mill. Smith’s heart and hustle led to 13 goals and 4 assists. Miller built on her Freshman of the Year performance as another deadly weapon on the Chief attack. Parker posted 10 goals and 6 assists at forward and midfield.
The midfielders are Hannah Ellison of McIntosh, Jolie Ryff of Whitewater, and Fayette County’s Melanie Mikoy and Shannon McGregor. Ellison kept in control as the Chief midfield dominated. Ryff tallied 9 goals and 21 assists for the Wildcats. Mikoy lead the Tigers with 12 goals and 12 assists. McGregor added 12 goals and 10 assists to earn All-Region honors.
The defenders are Isabelle Odutola of Fayette County, Hannah Ohlmeir of Sandy Creek, Sara Biddle of Starr’s Mill, and Bailey Vessell of Whitewater. Odutola posted 7 goals and 2 assists and earned a spot on the All-Region team. Ohlmeir used her size and physicality to frustrate opposing offenses for the Patriots. Biddle marked the opposition’s best offensive player and was successful far more often than not. Vessell and the stingy Wildcat defense stifled scoring all year.
Sky Dedrick of Starr’s Mill slots in as a utility player who excelled at forward and on defense. Dedrick posted posted 4 goals and 1 assist.
Emma Fulton of Whitewater and Emily Lopez of McIntosh are the keepers. Fulton posted 30 saves for the Wildcats. Lopez keyed the Chiefs to another title in the net.
There are still so many talents players left that earned Honorable Mention honors. Fayette County’s honoree is Caitlin Umila. McIntosh’s honoree is Mackensi Rohn. Starr’s Mill’s honorees are Katelyn LaRusso, Chloe Spradlin, and Makira Walton. Whitewater’s honoree is Ansley Messina. Our Lady of Mercy’s Jordan Patten, Shelby Sheehan, and Sydney Hukin earn recognition.
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