Player of the year
Justin Riley, Lawrence
A senior co-captain, Riley controlled the middle of the field for the Lions, limiting opponents’ transitions while also scoring 13 goals and passing out four assists. His passion, intensity and all-around skill helped LHS reach the Class 6A state quarterfinals for the second straight season.
Coach of the year
Brian Kroll, Tonganoxie
Known as “Coach K” by his players, the third-year Chieftains head coach guided the program to unprecedented heights, with a record 16 victories and a second-place finish in the 4-1A state tournament. Tonganoxie’s loss to Topeka Hayden on the final day of the season marked the first time any team sport at the school played in a state title game.
Mason Bandre, Baldwin — The 6-foot-4 goalkeeper’s hands, footwork and reflexes helped BHS to eight shutouts, a 4-1A regional championship and an appearance in the state quarterfinals. In the 17 games he played, opponents only snuck nine goals past the All-Frontier League senior.
Connor Henrichs, Lawrence — The versatile junior became a shutdown defender in the open field and on corner kicks for the Lions, who won their second straight regional championship. Henrichs played mistake-free soccer the majority of the time and had the vision to create offensive transitions.
Asher Huseman, Tonganoxie — In his first season with the 4-1A state runner-up Chieftains, the sophomore forward’s speed and physical style made THS difficult to defend. Though he ran cross country the previous fall, he eased into soccer seamlessly with 19 goals and eight assists.
Nicholas Joslyn, Baldwin — The Bulldogs (16-3) were nearly unstoppable with the junior midfielder and forward leading the way. Joslyn’s competitive drive and technical skills made him a nightmare match-up for opponents, and he finished with 15 goals and 10 assists.
Taylor Phongsavath, De Soto — The senior Wildcats forward not only possessed the best ball-handling skills for the 4-1A regional champions, but also served as a target in the air on set pieces and corner kicks. Always dangerous up front, Phongsavath finished with 12 goals and an assist.
Johannes Reiber, Lawrence — Lions coach Mike Murphy called the senior co-captain the heart and soul of the team. The LHS midfielder’s toughness and knowledge of the game helped him score seven goals — including an overtime winner for a regional title — and distribute seven assists.
Justin Riley, Lawrence — In his final season at LHS, the senior midfielder played a major role in his team’s 12-6-1 record with his field vision, ability to distribute and, perhaps most importantly, a powerful shot capable of testing defenses from almost anywhere on the field.
Matt Saathoff, Tonganoxie — The four-year starter and Chieftains senior captain proved lethal in leading his team to a second-place finish at the 4-1A state tournament with eight goals in the postseason alone. Saathoff’s 31 goals and 18 assists on the season set program records.
Alex Trent, Free State — Though the Firebirds struggled this fall, the junior midfielder gave FSHS an energetic presence on the field capable of harassing opponents defensively or initializing the offense in transition.
Keaton Truesdell, Tonganoxie — A tireless senior goalkeeper for the Chieftains (16-4-1), Truesdell’s 218 saves this season set a program record. The final two days of the season, he supplied 29 saves in the 4-1A state semifinals and 21 saves in the championship game for runner-up THS.
Connor Berg, De Soto; Russi Cloon, Baldwin; Colin Coleman, Perry-Lecompton; Austin Johanning, Perry-Lecompton; Daniel Munoz-Crow, Perry-Lecompton; Anthony Richardson, Free State; Dustin Seibolt, De Soto; Evan Smith, Free State.