Northcutt wins Defensive POY on All-District 16-4A soccer team
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor
April 11, 2007 - Every starter for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats earned recognition last week on the All-District 16-4A soccer team.
The Wildcat honorees were paced by senior outside back Graham Northcutt, who was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. He was joined on the First Team by senior forward Cole Lancaster, junior forward Oscar Marroquin, senior midfielder Rolando Larios and senior defender Jon Holt.
On the Second Team were senior midfielder Chad Rocker, freshman midfielder Rodrigo Larios, junior sweeper Tate Ramirez and junior goal keeper Mario Arellano. Honorable Mention selections were junior forward Zach Junot and sophomore defender Omar Ortiz.
"We had a good representation," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "Every starter was recognized for something."
The Wildcats finished third in the District 16-4A standings. After losing their first two district games, they went 12 straight without a regulation loss.
Mount Pleasant, the district champion, had the district MVP in senior Adam Gonzales along with sophomore of the year in Enrique Rodriguez, and Co-Offensive MVP in senior Omar Gutierrez who shared the honor with Pleasant Grove senior Austin McCown. The Newcomer of the Year was Pittsburg freshman Leo Aguilera.
Northcutt made an impression as the Defensive Player of the Year for his aggressiveness and ability to also get in on the offensive action when necessary.
"Graham's award was well deserved.," Holt said. "I thought he had a great year for us. He scored 10 goals and had roughly 10 assists for the year. That guy was very good for us."
Lancaster and Marroquin provided the bulk of the Wildcats' scoring punch, combining for 33 goals. Lancaster had 18 and Marroquin 15.
Rolando Larios, an All-District selection for the third straight year, was the Wildcats' best ball-handler, and Holt said one of the most skilled players to come through SSHS.
Jon Holt, the younger brother of the coach, found a home at outside back, where he earned All-District honors for the second straight year.
Three of the four players on the Second Team are underclassmen, including freshman Rodrigo Larios, the younger brother of Rolando, who started every game as a ninth-grader.
Ramirez excelled once he found a home at sweeper, one of the most key positions in Holt's defense, and Arellano helped post seven straight regulation shutouts during the middle of the district season.
Rocker, a senior, was able to use his speed to quickly convert from offense to defense in the midfield.
"We've got a lot of young guys coming up, so that's good for us," Holt said. "I thought our guys played well, especially in the second half of district."