ELYRIA — Vermilion junior Zack Kelly scored a school-record 35 goals this season and helped led his team to it’s first district championship.
On Thursday he was recognized for his contributions when he received the Lorain County Soccer Coaches Association Division II co-Player of the Year in a ceremony at the Elyria Performing Arts Center.
“I have to thank my team for this. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without them,” Kelly said. “I trained hard in the summer and I expected to have a great year. I set a goal for myself of scoring 30 goals. I definitely beat that.”
Kelly wasn’t the only Sailor to be honored on Thursday, Vermilion junior Kayleigh Penton was named the girls Division II co-player of the year.
“It’s a huge honor to represent the Division II girls and I’m really excited to receive this award,” Penton. who scored 15 goals and had five assists this year, said. “We really started to play well around when playoffs started. It was a fun time.”
A pair of players who were named to the all-Ohio first team earlier in the week added player of the year awards. Firelands senior Patrick Brightbill was Division II co-Player of the Year and Avon Lake’s Olivia Siko was named the top player in Division I.
“I’ve been working toward this since my freshman year so it’s a very special honor for me,” Siko said. “This really means a lot because I’ve competed against all of these girls, many of them are in our conference. It’s really cool to be up here with a lot of familiar faces. Being around all of these girls has really helped me improve.”
Brightbill scored 27 goals in both his junior and senior years.
“There’s a lot of great competitors in Division II so it’s a great honor to get this award,” Brightbill said. “Lorain County and the Patriot Athletic Conference produced so many great players in the last four years, they have pushed me very hard. I would not be where I am today without all of them.”
The PAC was also home to two girls players of the year. Brookside’s Madison Sours was co-player of the year in Division II while Columbia’s Laine Welker won the award for the second year in a row in Division III.
“This is the first year I didn’t play with my sister (Hannah Sours, a 2016 Brookside grad) and she always really inspired me and it was really weird playing without her,” said Sours, who led the Cardinals with 15 goals and nine assists. “So I felt like I really had to step up as an individual to help my team.”
After helping the Raiders advance to the district final this season, Welker is already excited for her senior year.
“I couldn’t do this without having the great players around me on my team and with my Dad (Fritz) who is our coach,” Welker said. “We’ve turned the program around and knowing the girls we have on the team and the girls who will be coming up next year, I know we have a good chance to get back to districts and we’ll work really hard to try to go further.”
Avon senior midfielder-defender Zach Hubbard won the Division I player of the year award. Hubbard was part of an Eagles team that started the year 12-0-3 before losing their final two games.
“This award shows how much hard work I’ve put in and how much you have to love the game to get to this level,” Hubbard said. “I don’t think anybody expected us to have the year we did this year but it was a great season to end with.”
Elyria Catholic’s Gavin Velazquez won the Division III award after leading his team with 21 goals.
“This award means a lot because I wasn’t just playing for myself, I was playing for two other people,” Velazquez said. “I was playing for my mom’s boyfriend, whose son died a couple of years ago and I dedicated every goal to him and my teammate Jakob Hwang, who has cancer.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Player of the Year: Zach Hubbard, Avon
Coach of the Year: Brett Heighberger, Elyria
Assistant Coaches of the Year: Joe Bott, Midview; Matt Earls, Amherst
First team: Goalkeeper, Dylan Morris, Avon; Joseph Yochheim, Amherst; Jacob Snowden, Amherst; Noah Lindon, Avon; Trey Grudzien, Avon; Sam Redman, Avon Lake; Jack Lawniczak, Avon Lake; Jack Bailey, Elyria; Tyler Thompson, Midview; Noah Bartone, Midview; Kyle Baker, North Ridgeville;
Second Team: Goalkeeper, Kyle Milner, North Ridgeville; Ben Biedenbach, Amherst; Colin O’Connor, Amherst; Dylan Tober, Avon; Nick Korona, Avon; Austin Baraona, Avon Lake; Caleb Lewis, Elyria; Sabastian DelCorral, Elyria; Cole Thompson, Midview; Brad Gerity, North Ridgeville; Zach Schwartz, North Ridgeville.
Honorable mentions: Ryan Sturgeon, Amherst; Tyler Muir, Avon; Will Laurendeau, Avon; Charlie Yungvirt, Avon Lake; Stephen Jones, Avon Lake; Alexander Heighberger, Elyria; Isaac Dicken, Elyria; Domenic Roman, Midview; Nic Kucera, Midview; Zack Smith, North Ridgeville; Brandon Ross, North Ridgeville.
Player of the Year: Zack Kelly, Vermilion; Patrick Brightbill, Firelands
Coach of the Year: Kurt Innes, Vermilion
Assistant Coach of the Year: Jeff Marsh, Keystone
First team: Goalkeeper, Connor Baughman, Brookside; Owen Rozanc, Brookside; Devin Houdeshell, Brookside; Patrick Brightbill, Firelands; John Gall, Firelands; Alex Brill, Firelands; Joey Grega, Keystone; Brad Novak, Keystone; Zack Kelly, Vermilion; Demetrius Dunson, Vermilion; CJ Koller, Vermilion.
Second team: Goalkeeper, Ryan Habermehl, Vermilion; Joe Smail, Brookside; Joel Pospisil, Brookside; Stephen Williams, Brookside; Corey Jones, Firelands; Ben Lawghney, Firelands; Aaron Alston, Firelands; Tommy Sadowski, Keystone; Connor Abt, Keystone; Logan Penton, Vermilion; Drew Dawson, Vermilion.
Honorable mentions: Logan Hartzell, Brookside; Asa Kempton, Brookside; Randy Lamar, Firelands; Michael Douzos, Firelands; Zac Marsh, Keystone; Jordan Hill, Keystone; Ryan Bodeker, Vermilion; Stasio Gibbons, Vermilion.
Players of the Year: Gavin Velazquez, Elyria Catholic; Ben Skowronsky, Columbia
Coach of the Year: Andrew Lara, Wellington
Assistant Coach of the Year: Jairo Prudencio, Open Door
First team: Goalkeeper, Jakab Hwang, Elyria Catholic; Andy Schneider, Columbia; Curt Welker, Columbia; Gavin Velazquez, Elyria Catholic; Andrew Ferguson, Elyria Catholic; Antonio Pineda, Lake Ridge; Colin Harris, Lake Ridge Academy; Justin Mason, Oberlin; Tam Cadenhead, Oberlin; Andrew Dooley, Wellington; Hayden Bartolovich, Wellington.
Second team: Goalkeeper, Ebuka Ojukwu, First Baptist; Taylor Beck, Columbia; Brad Kelling, Elyria Catholic; Alex Steindl, Elyria Catholic; Andrew Szabo, Lake Ridge; Alex Conklin, Oberlin; Ty Cadenhead, Oberlin; Charley Lovett, Open Door; Mak vanWingerden, Open Door; Cole McLean, Wellington; Jacob Storrow, Wellington.
Honorable mentions: Charlie Simon, Columbia; Drew Muzilla, Elyria Catholic; Bryce Hileman, Elyria Catholic; Carson Odle, First Baptist; Scott Iler, First Baptist; Louis Gerard, Oberlin; Thayer Preston- Oberlin; Zach Strouse, Open Door; Todd Giesbrecht, Open Door; William Dowdell, Wellington; Trevor Boose, Wellington.
Player of the Year: Olivia Siko, Avon Lake
Coaches of the Year: Brianne Reinhard, Avon; Abbey Golden, Midview
Assistant Coach of the Year: Caleb Reutter, Avon Lake.
First team: Goalkeeper, Maggie Beatty, Avon; Lexi Alston, Amherst; Sam Farmer, Avon; Abby Delprincipe, Avon; Olivia Siko, Avon Lake; Kellie Norris, Avon Lake; Haley Walton, Elyria; Ja’Maya Ward, Elyria; Sidney Riemer, Midview; Colleen Benton, Midview; Danielle Blagojevic, North Ridgeville.
Second team: Goalkeeper, Ashley Callaway, Midview; Bailee Pihlblad, Amherst; Sarah Miller, Amherst; Hilary Mihalik, Avon; Emily Dahl, Avon; Kelly Spitz, Avon Lake; Amber Achladis, Avon Lake; Jessie Thomas, Elyria; Maddie Blaine, Midview; Kylie Cline, Midview; Rachel Blumfeldt, North Ridgeville.
Honorable mention: Emery Hicks, Amherst; Cameron Dumais, Amherst; Marley Kalata, Avon; Megan Sikora, Avon; Allie Heschel, Avon Lake; Paige Hood, Avon Lake; Izzy Stewart, Elyria; Caleb Reutter, Avon Lake; Sierra Schroyer, Elyria; Mallory Homoki, Midview; Natalie Maver, Midview; Grace Blumfeldt, North Ridgeville; Lauren Milner, North Ridgeville.
Players of the Year: Madison Sours, Brookside; Kayleigh Penton, Vermilion
Coach of the Year: Kevin Ziegler, Firelands
Assistant of the Year: Kassie Davis, Firelands
First team: Goalkeeper, Hanna Degany, Brookside; Madison Sours, Brookside; Jordyn Shawver, Brookside; Ryan Kunkle, Elyria Catholic; Lexi McCrary, Firelands; Mikayla Mains, Firelands; Isabel Solowiej, Firelands; Lauren LaPointe, Keystone; Madeline Rising, Keystone; Kayleigh Penton, Vermilion; Maddie Waller, Vermilion.
Second team: Goalkeeper, Macey Butchko, Firelands; Kayla Jacobs, Brookside; Hailey Mezurek, Firelands; Karli Bukovac, Firelands; Holley Ziemba, Keystone; Madison Carter, Keystone; Faith Baracskai, Keystone; Taylor Trbovich, Vermilion; Kennedy Shreve, Vermilion; Riley Allen, Vermilion.
Honorable mention: Brittney Kmitt, Brookside; Shelby Dowdell, Brookside; Olivia Walter, Elyria Catholic; Megan Schiebelhut, Elyria Catholic; Zoe Simmons, Firelands; Madison Sims, Firelands; Shelby Fortune, Keystone; Cassandra Harant, Keystone; Lexi Koeth, Vermilion; Jenna Graham, Vermilion.
Player of the Year: Lanie Welker, Columbia
Coach of the Year: Fritz Welker, Columbia
Assistant of the Year: Brittany Leader, Oberlin
First team: Goalkeeper, Danielle Matzelle, Columbia; Lanie Welker, Columbia; Sam Carrico, Columbia; Audrey Chonko, Columbia; Yana Miller, Lake Ridge; Janae Johnson, Oberlin; Zoe Bickel, Oberlin; Maggie Eck, Open Door; Alissa Faber, Open Door; Samantha Sparks, Wellington; Rachel Barletta, Wellington
Second team: Goalkeeper, Mackenzie Tallman, Oberlin; Allison Bouscher, Columbia; Jillian Grzywna, Columbia; Danielle Gerda, Columbia; Grace Adams, Lake Ridge; Rosy Turner, Oberlin; Alyssa Watson- Oberlin; Megan McClain, Open Door; Emily Werley, Open Door; Emma Horoschak, Wellington; Faith Alley, Wellington.
Honorable mention: Emma Seitz, Columbia; Denise Biljis, Columbia; Lily Kuentz, Lake Ridge; Jeannie Medwetz, Lake Ridge; Maya Vermue Peters, Oberlin; Selena Santiago, Oberlin; Lauryn Brown, Open Door; Emily McClain, Open Door; Rachel Greene, Wellington; Makaylin Moore, Wellington.