By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Following a season cut short by COVID-19, the team at KBEC Sports has diligently pieced together the first-ever KBEC Sports All-Ellis County boys’ soccer teams.
And the decisions on placement were not easy, as a large component to constructing the teams includes overall and postseason team success. With no playoff runs to be had and much fewer programs than other sports, this group proved to be the toughest to sort through.
So, here’s how it went down.
The teams are broken down into four parts — first-, second- and honorable mention teams and superlative honors. The awards are presented by KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM and KBEC Sports.
The superlative awards include Offensive, Defensive, Newcomer, Coach and Team of the Year, as well as the countywide Most Valuable Player and the Mr. Hustle Award.
The All-Ellis County first-team consists of 11 starters with four forwards, three midfielders, three defenders and one goalie. The second-team afforded a few additional opportunities to include deserving student-athletes.
Superlative honors were first announced live on-air during the KBEC Sports weekly sports-talk show, “The Press Box,” on Monday, May 18.
“The Press Box” can be heard weekly on terrestrial radio on 1390AM or 99.1FM or streamed live by clicking on the “LISTEN LIVE” microphone on the top of sports.kbec.com or through the KBEC app. The app is available on Apple and Android devices.
All honorees were selected based on postseason accolades, team success, input from coaches across Ellis County and firsthand observations by the KBEC Sports team.
In total, more than 50 student-athletes were recognized.
Each student-athlete honored will be presented with a commemorative All-EllisCounty certificate, with first- and second-team honorees to receive framed certificates. The individual superlative winners will receive a commemorative bobblehead award.
Without further ado, congratulations to the 2020 KBEC Sports All-Ellis County boys’ soccer honorees!
Player of the Year
Garrett Garvin (Midlothian Heritage, senior)
Following a stellar junior campaign, Garrett Garvin remained the most prolific goal scorer in Ellis County during the 2019-20 season that saw his Jaguars finish with a 22-3-1 record and undefeated (9-0) District 12-4A championship.
Garvin netted a county-high 32 goals and added 17 assists for the Jaguars, earning him District 12-4A Most Valuable Player honors. During his junior campaign, Garvin led the Jaguars in goals scored and to the 4A state championship match in Georgetown. He was named to TASCO 4A All-State and All-Region teams, as well as to the 4A State Tournament team.
Garvin will continue his playing career at East Texas Baptist University in the fall.
Offensive Player of the Year
Justin Barnett (Midlothian, senior)
Justin Barnett was named the District 14-5A Most Valuable Player after netting 12 goals and providing 14 assists for the district co-champion Midlothian Panthers. Two of those goals and one assist came in the final minute of a pair of district matches.
According to head coach Austin Guest, Barnett’s “pace, dribbling ability and unselfishness characterize the team captain.” His assist total led the Panthers and his dozen goals was second. And he accomplished by unselfishly sliding into the center midfielder role to better serve the Panthers lineup, despite naturally playing forward.
Barnett will continue his career at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.
Defensive Player of the Year
Joshua Redding (Waxahachie, senior)
Joshua Redding was a wall all season long for the Waxahachie Indians in goal, holding opponents to just 0.68 goals against per match and recording 12 shutouts. He did so against some of the top talent that Class 6A, Texas and the nation for that matter had to offer.
Redding led the insanely stout District 7-6A in shutouts and was once again named the 7-6A Goalkeeper of the Year (2019, 2020).
Redding was also named to the THSCA and TASCO Academic All-State teams and will continue his playing career at Concordia University in Austin this fall.
Newcomer of the Year
Landon Gilmore (Waxahachie, sophomore)
Waxahachie sophomore Landon Gilmore burst onto the 6A soccer scene with nine goals and seven assists this season. He was rewarded by being named to the All-District 7-6A second-team — quite the feat for a sophomore in the state’s highest classification.
Head coach Seth Riley expects for Gilmore to be the Indians’ top scorer over the next two seasons.
Jett Whitaker (Midlothian Heritage, senior)
Midlothian Heritage head coach CaShan Clark confidently labeled senior Jett Whitaker as “one of the hardest workers” he’d ever coach. And we agree, as Whitaker perfectly exemplifies the KBEC Sports Mr. Hustle award.
Whitaker spent the entire 2019 regular season on the junior varsity. He was then promoted to the varsity side ahead of the playoffs and played every minute of the Jaguars’ playoff run to the 4A state title match in Georgetown.
Whitaker then used that confidence boost during the 2019-20 season by regularly marking the top player on the opposing side and taking that goal scorer out of the game. But it was his efforts and intensity during practices that truly paid dividends, Clark noted.
“Jett gives his all every day in practice, which helped us to get better,” Clark explained. “Garrett Garvin would not have had the year he did without having to practice against Jett every day.”
Team of the Year
In a season that saw no postseason runs to Georgetown, choosing the KBEC Sports Team of the Year became a little more tricky, as a team’s overall strength of schedule and competition came into play more than it would during a typical season.
The Waxahachie Indians faced a district that featured a nationally-ranked side in Grand Prairie and one-loss (15-1-5) Mansfield and emerged with an impressive 4-3-5 mark. One of those losses came at the hands of the Mansfield Tigers, 2-1, who featured a roster that included 18 seniors.
The Indians began the season by running through tournaments in San Antonio and the Aggieland Showcase in College Station with a perfect 7-0 mark, defeating one school 16-0 along the way.
Waxahachie outscored opponents 45-16 on its way to a 12-5-5 overall record, while also outsourcing District 7-6A competition 11-9, and did so primarily using 11-12 players during each contest.
Coach of the Year
CaShan Clark (Midlothian Heritage)
Midlothian Heritage head coach CaShan Clark and the Jaguars entered the season with lofty goals, following a magical postseason run to Georgetown and the 4A state finals one season prior. Any chance of a repeat season would require the head coach to keep his side focused, humble and hungry.
And, though we will never truly know if this year’s Jaguar squad would’ve compiled a repeat postseason run again this season, we do know that they maintained the momentum and elevated play that the side ended playing with in 2019. Clark is certainly one to credit for that.
Midlothian Heritage opened the season by winning the Liberty Hill and self-hosted Frostbite tournaments. Clark then guided the Jaguars to a District 12-4A championship with a 9-0 district mark and 22-3-1 overall record, most of which came without the services of second-team KBEC Sports All-Ellis County goalie Konnor Koethe (injury).
ALL-ELLIS COUNTY FIRST-TEAM
⚽️Forward: Garrett Garvin (Midlothian Heritage, senior): 32 goals, 17 assists. District 12-4A MVP.
⚽️Forward: Justin Barnett (Midlothian, senior): 12 goals, 14 assists. District 14-5A MVP.
⚽️Forward: Raul Acosta (Life Waxahachie, senior): 20 goals, 8 assists. District 12-4A Offensive MVP.
⚽️Midfield: Tanner Henderson (Midlothian, senior): 13 goals, 4 assists. District 14-5A Midfield Co-MVP.
⚽️Midfield: Marco Marquez (Red Oak, senior): 5 goals, 8 assists. 1st team All-District 14-5A.
⚽️Midfield: Fineas Pop (Life Waxahachie, senior): 1 goal, 10 assists. 12-4A Midfielder of the Year.
⚽️Defender: Mark McLachlan (Waxahachie, senior): 2 goal, 2 assists. All-District 7-6A first team.
⚽️Defender: Zach Schmidt (Midlothian Heritage, senior): 5 goals, 4 assists. District 12-4A Defensive Player of the Year.
⚽️Defender: Scott Rennie (Red Oak, senior): Captain of Red Oak defense. All-District 14-5A first team.
⚽️Goalie: Joshua Redding (Waxahachie, senior): 0.68 goals against per match with 12 shutouts. All-District 7-6A Goalkeeper of the Year.
ALL-ELLIS COUNTY SECOND-TEAM
Forward: Calvin Duggins (Midlothian Heritage, sophomore)
Forward: Fernando Tovias (Ennis, sophomore)
Forward: Kennedy Hartman (Life Waxahachie, junior)
Forward: Landon Gilmore (Waxahachie, sophomore)
Forward: Austin Andrus (Waxahachie, senior)
Midfield: Luis Bazaldua (Red Oak, junior)
Midfield: Jordan Beechum (Waxahachie, senior)
Midfield: Wesley Nelson (Midlothian Heritage, sophomore)
Midfield: Britten Daffron (Red Oak, senior)
Midfield: Juan Martinez (Midlothian, junior)
Defender: Christian Epperson (Midlothian, senior)
Defender: Victor Ortiz (Ferris, senior)
Defender: Crisanto Perez (Waxahachie, senior)
Defender: Ramiro Perez (Ennis, senior)
Defender: Ryan Tate (Midlothian, junior)
Goalie: Konnor Koethe (Midlothian Heritage, senior)
Goalie: Yari Rodriguez (Life Waxahachie, senior)
Kevin Arias (Ennis, junior)
Luis Facio (Ennis, senior)
Bryson Bolton (Ennis, junior)
Jacob Plaster (Ferris, senior)
Jesus Garcia (Ferris, freshman)
Luis Coronado (Ferris, junior
Victor Ortiz (Ferris, senior)
Humberto Aguilar (Ferris, junior)
Noe Herrera (Ferris, sophomore)
Adrian Rodriguez (Life Waxahachie, senior)
Sergio Valerga (Life Waxahachie, junior)
Diego Casco (Life Waxahachie, junior)
Izaiah Riojas (Life Waxahachie, sophomore)
Marc Barrera (Life Waxahachie, sophomore)
Roberto Maldonado (Midlothian, senior)
Shane Reasonover (Midlothian, senior)
Jairo Moreno (Midlothian, senior)
Alex Hernandez (Midlothian, senior)
Nick Arenare (Midlothian, junior)
Adrian Worsham (Midlothian, senior)
Elliot Moore (Midlothian Heritage, junior)
Brock Smalley (Midlothian Heritage, junior)
Noah May (Midlothian Heritage, junior)
Jett Whitaker (Midlothian Heritage, senior)
Mason Whitworth (Midlothian Heritage, senior)
Andrew Francis (Red Oak, junior)
Timmy Shephard (Red Oak, freshman)
Alexis Cortez Defender (Red Oak, senior)
Sammy Benavidez (Red Oak, sophomore)
Clyde Melick (Waxahachie, junior)
Bryan Dominguez (Waxahachie, junior)
JP Lopez (Waxahachie, junior)
Luke Villarreal (Waxahachie, junior)
Jake Grimes (Waxahachie, junior)
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith