Award Winners: Nine Soccer Cats earn All-District honors
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor
April 14, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats had nine players make it on the District 16-4A All-District soccer team, and all but one are seniors.
Tate Ramirez, a three-year letterman, was named the Co-Offensive MVP of the district. He was joined on the First Team by forward Cruz Lozano, midfielder Omar Ortiz, defender Jesus Torres and goal keeper Mario Arellano.
Second Team selections went to forward Oscar Marroquin, midfielder Zach Junot and defender Victor Medina. Sophomore defender Rodrigo Larios was named Honorable Mention.
"We had a good representation as far a second-place team goes," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt, who team finished as district runner-up behind Mount Pleasant. "We had a lot of guys who were deserving of awards."
The biggest honor went to Ramirez, who led the team in goal scored with 14 and assists with six. He had a four-goal game against Paris and scored the Wildcats' lone goal in their bi-district match.
"That's a big award," Holt said. "Tate really came on this year and provided some much-needed offense and scored some big goals. He provided a lot of energy and spark up there. He was definitely well-deserving of that."
Lozano was second on the team in goals scored with 12, and he added three assists in his first year as a starter. He became known for his booming 30-plus yard goals.
"Cruz was a nice bonus up top," Holt said. "He worked hard and got after it."
Ortiz, a two-year starter who emerged as one of the top players in the district, added nine goals from his midfield spot.
"Omar was one of the best players in the district, I thought," Holt explained. "If we had that as a superlative, he may have been the Midfielder of the Year."
Arellano, a converted midfielder who started the last year at goalie, followed up last year's Second Team selection with a First Team nod this season. He has eight shutouts in 2008.
"Mario had a great year last year and that confidence carried over into this season," the coach said.
Torres was the team's sweeper and his defensive ability helped the Wildcats notch some of those eight shutouts. In Holt's scheme, sweeper is one of the most important positions.
On the Second Team were Marroquin, a First Team selection last year who was hobbled early in the season by a high ankle sprain. He finished with nine goals.
"Oscar got going late in the season because of the bum ankle made him miss games early," Holt said.
Junot scored four goals for the Wildcats and had five assists from the outside mid spot.
"Zach did a lot of good things for us, and some it didn't show up in goals," Holt said.
Medina, meanwhile, earned a Second Team selection for his defensive ability.
Larios, a Second Team selection as a freshman, was Honorable Mention this year.
"Rodrigo probably should have been Second Team or First Team defender," Holt said. "His skill level, speed and knowledge make him one of the best in the district."
Other superlative honors went to Paris senior Sam Temple as MVP, Mount Pleasant senior Jesus Garcia as the Defensive MVP, North Lamar sophomore Cole DeVoss as Sophomore of the Year, and Mount Pleasant freshman Antonio Razo as Newcomer of the Year.