News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Boys player of the year

Tomo Matsuo, Austin: At 6-foot-0, 150 pounds, Matsuo isn't the biggest player on the field, but he might command the most attention. A senior who played midfield, defender and forward, he scored 17 goals and added 12 assists for the Black Bears, who just missed out on the Class 6A playoffs out of one of the state's deepest sections.

First team

Jake Mendenhall, Austin: The center-midfielder teamed with Matsuo to control the middle of the field for Austin, scoring five goals and recording eight assists. Head coach Lewis White called the junior the team leader. Mendenhall was selected to the North-South all-star game.

Raul Alanis, Decatur: Always a presence on the field, he can score from anywhere on the pitch. Alanis was the second-leading scorer on a team that put in 53 goals and won by an average of 3.1 goals a game.

Michael Alfano, Decatur: The junior midfielder and defender helped Decatur hold opponents to 17 goals this season. Decatur won its section, and Alfano played a large role in that. He'll play in the North-South All-Star game this summer.

Sawyer McLemore, Brewer: A senior goalkeeper, he came up with 196 saves in leading Brewer to the school's first postseason win, a 2-1 affair over Decatur. McLemore came up with 11 shutouts during the year and was named the MVP of the Morgan County soccer tournament.

Jeremy Talley, Brewer: Talley came through with 15 goals and seven assists this season. The junior has 40 career goals and 12 assists.

Kohl Sowder, Brewer: Only a sophomore, Sowder scored eight goals and added seven assists for a Patriots team that won its first Morgan County soccer tournament championship. With two years of varsity soccer remaining, Sowder already has 54 career goals and 20 career assists.

Joshuah Pippin, East Limestone: A varsity player since seventh grade, Pippin led the Indians into the second round of the Class 1A-4A state playoffs. The defender helped East Limestone to perfect 8-0 section records the past two seasons and was part of a unit that allowed less than a goal a match.

Zack Woodruff, Hartselle: Woodruff became the Tigers' main scoring threat this season, coming through with 11 of Hartselle's 40 goals. Though only 5-foot-5, the sophomore is as likely to go high for 50-50 balls as any big man. Four of his goals have come on headers.

Matt Jackson, Athens: A senior, Jackson anchored a defense that allowed only 1.4 goals a game. He scored two goals and had six assists, all coming on long throw-ins. He was a two-year starter for the Golden Eagles.

Jeremy Williams, West Morgan: Head coach Glenn Bryant called Williams the team's field general. He scored eight goals and had 12 assists during his senior season. He was a three-year starter for the Rebels, and was named to the 2007 Morgan County all-tournament team.

Second team

Athens: Jared Hill; Austin: Pascual Alonso; Brewer: Justin Reed and Wes Brasher; Decatur: Phoenix Iverson and Tom Gray; East Limestone: Jacob Applebee and Cory Wood; Hartselle: Corey Steele and Brad Galloway; Priceville: Lorand Dragu.

Honorable mention

Athens: Taylor Pate and Davis Simmons; Brewer: Jack Wanschek and Eric Vallejo; Decatur: Mason Hastie; Hartselle: Daniel Sparkman and Stephen Owen; Priceville: Derick Smith and Jonathon Savoy; West Morgan: Ryan Lye and Michael Phillips.

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