The wealth of area talent was on display when the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association recently named four Lorain County players first-team All-Ohio.
Avon goalkeeper Dylan Morris picked up the honor in Division I, Vermilion’s Zack Kelly made it in Division II, Wellington’s Cole McLean a Division III selection and Elyria Catholic leading scorer Ryan Kunkle was the lone area girls first-team selection, earning a spot in Division III.
Morris and Kelly were second-team selections a year ago.
McLean had 18 goals and 14 assists for the Dukes this season and over the past two years the senior forward found the back of the net 39 times.
“I was shocked that I got it to be honest,” said McLean, who hopes to play college soccer next fall. “I thought maybe I had a chance to make second team. I never thought I’d make first-team. It means a lot to me. It shows that all of the hard work I’ve put in since my freshman year paid off. It’s been a lot of fun but I never could have done it without my teammates and coaches.”
Morris had 13 shutouts this season while helping the Eagles advance to the district final. In the regular season, he had a goals-against-average of .25 while allowing just four goals in 16 games. In one stretch early in the year, Morris went over a month without allowing a goal. He finished his career with 35 shutouts.
Morris said making second-team All-Ohio last year motivated him to ork even harder in the offseason.
“First-team All-Ohio was something I wanted, it was one of my goals coming into the year,” said Morris, who is headed to Tiffin University to play soccer and study business management. “I’m excited because this is a great accomplishment and it shows how much my hard work has paid off. But it’s not just about me. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches.”
Kelly, a forward, rewrote the Sailors’ record book, ending his career with 106 goals and 42 assists, both school records. Kelly, who also led the Sailors to their first district championship in school history in 2016, had 39 goals and 17 assists this season.
Kunkle missed most of her junior year with injuries but still managed to score 18 goals in seven games. She came back healthy, and even better, this year, scoring 33 regular-season goals, one shy of a school record, and adding nine more in the postseason as the Panthers advanced all the way to the regional semifinals for the second time in her career.
“Coach Ryan (Elyria Catholic coach Ryan Manner) texted me (Saturday) night to tell me I made All-Ohio,” Kunkle said. “I was really shocked and overwhelmed. It really means so much to me. I am so thankful and grateful. This past season was so much fun. I am so blessed to have such a great group of friends on my team. I’m sad that it’s over but grateful that it happened.”
Midview’s Colleen Benton, Amherst’s Lexy Alston and Avon’s Abby Delprincipe earned second-team honors.
Benton, a senior, scored 15 goals and had 11 assists this season. Delprincipe, a junior, was second on the Eagles in scoring and has played a key role in Avon’s back-to-back district championships. Alston, a sophomore, led the Comets with 15 goals.
Two Southwestern Conference coaches picke dup big honors. Olmsted Falls’ James Walchanowicz was Division I boys Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to back-to-back SWC and district titles, while Westlake’s Scott Jones, who is retiring after guiding the Demons to 14 district finals in his 16 years, was Division I girIs Coach of the Year.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.