Gavin Amburn Grayslake North
This hard-working player added a lot to Grayslake North's attack this season. Amburn led the Knights with 4 goals and 5 assists. "He was our hardest-working player at absolutely everything we do, and his teammates and coaches have a ton of respect for him," Grayslake North coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "He has a positive attitude and he is always looking to better himself for the sake of the team. His technical and leadership abilities make him reliable, dangerous, and a fun athlete to coach. Gavin was probably our most dangerous player in front of goal, but this season distributed more than he got to shoot, and in the end he led our team in both goals as well as assists."
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Jon Borzick Lakes
Whether playing in the back or moving forward, Borzick could handle many spots on the field. Borzick injured his wrist and had to play with a cast on for the later part of the season but still was named all-state after scoring 12 goals with 5 assists. "Jon has had an outstanding season in which he demonstrated he was among the best players in the area," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "His play on both sides of the ball was second to none. He was among the best defenders and among the best attackers. He can hit a pass over any distance to put his teammates into scoring position and he can get himself in scoring position. No one works harder in practice or throughout the game."
Lloyd Chatfield Libertyville
Chatfield was hard to handle up front for Libertyville's foes, who routinely paid special attention to him. He dealt well with the attention, and despite some injuries in his senior season still managed to generate 3 goals and 6 assists. He was widely considered one of the best in the area at his position. If opponents didn't keep an eye on him, he was finding ways to get a shot on goal or dishing out a potential assist. "He's a game-changer," Libertyville coach Andy Bitta said. "Lloyd was one of the strongest players I've ever coached. Once he shields the ball, he can turn to score or distribute the ball to his teammates."
Adam Cloe Carmel Catholic
A standout in the Carmel Catholic midfield, Cloe led the team in scoring with 21 goals and 13 assists and will be playing. He'll continue his soccer career at Drake next fall. "Adam was most successful with attacks that involved him in some way," Carmel Catholic coach Ray Krawzak said. "With the ball at his feet, Adam was tough to handle. He was a dynamic player, stronger and faster than most opponents, and has worked hard to make himself nearly ambidextrous, making him difficult to defend."
Jeremy Cohen Vernon Hills
Truly getting his kicks this fall, Cohen doubled as a place kicker for the football team. He had plenty of success in soccer, too, leading the team with 12 goals 7 assists. "Jeremy has been our most versatile player this year," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "He's outstanding at reading the game and making decisions on and off the ball and can play anywhere on the pitch. He's just a great leader and can show it vocally and physically."
Michael Dobin Stevenson
A young Stevenson team was looking for some veteran leadership in its back line. Dobin provided it in the sweeper role as the four-year starter tailored his game to the Patriots' need. "This was his first year at sweeper," Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. "He helped his team out with seven clean sheets this season and was a part of 43 in his four-year career. He was just an outstanding leader for us. Just a perfect example of heart, attitude and character."
Richard Galat Lakes
Galat suffered a scary injury in the opening game of his senior year. Undaunted, he came back after missing eight games and had one of his best seasons in the area, finishing with 11 goals and 6 assists -- including an amazing 4-goal effort in 29 minutes in the North Suburban Conference championship game. Lakes was the first Prairie Division team to take the conference title in boys soccer. "He has played outside back, outside midfield and this year as a forward," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "He was among the most dynamic forwards in the area. He has uncanny athleticism and dribbling ability, which gets him by the toughest defenders to provide himself and his teammates numerous scoring opportunities."
Iven Hernandez Antioch
A player that was worth watching every time out, Hernandez was the center of attention on a terrific team and earned all-state honors to accompany his selection as all-area team captain. He's one big reason behind Antioch winning a Class 2A regional championship. "Iven is our go-to guy," Antioch coach Marni Polakow said. "He's a pure striker that has an uncanny ability to finish. From scoring 4 goals in five minutes to putting teams away late, he has always shown up when we have needed him most."
Miguel Hernandez Lake Zurich
Bothered by a bone bruise in his foot that required him to sit for seven games early in the season, Hernandez didn't let that stop him. He still led the team with 12 goals and 2 assists. "Miguel is a tremendously skilled player capable of playing anywhere on the soccer field," Lake Zurich coach Michael Schmitz said. "This year he proved to be a highly effective forward and led our team in scoring. He has great touch on the ball, is extremely composed under pressure, and has a talent for finishing. He always was around the goal creating havoc for opposing teams, and found a way to deliver the big goal."
RJ Hill Warren
No doubt, Hill rose to the task for Warren in goal. His ability was easy to see, and it was reflected in his season-ending numbers as a junior: He accumulated 10 shutouts and had a goals-against average .87. There's no telling what the future holds for this highly skilled keeper. "RJ has the size and the skill to play Division 1 soccer," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "The future is very bright for him, we are looking for big things from RJ."
Isaac Longenecker Grayslake Central
His good smarts on the field shouldn't be a surprise -- Longenecker sports a 4.3 GPA in the classroom. He's also ahead of the learning curve as a leader, with 12 goals and 3 assists from the midfield as he helped guide the Rams into the Class 2A sectionals. "A definition of a true leader, on and off the soccer field," Grayslake Central coach Steve Feldman said. "Isaac knows what to do with the ball before he even gets it. He has wonderful vision on the soccer field and loves getting the ball so he can take players on 1v1. Isaac is a very valuable asset."
Rafa Macias Warren
In need of a leader, Warren looked to Macias -- and he answered. After winning the Class 3A state championship last year, the Blue Devils lost many talented players to graduation. Macias helped ease the sting by leading Warren with 13 goals and 6 assists out of the midfield. "Rafa is a defender by nature that had to step up and help fill the void of the 2013 graduating class," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "He had 7 game-winning goals and was a workhorse in the midfield for us."
Ethan Marx Stevenson
Marx surely made his mark. A key player for a young Stevenson team, Marx helped give the Patriots a winning profile, thanks to his 6-foot-2 frame and ability to score on head balls. "He had the combination of speed, ball control and vision," Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. "He was our biggest threat in the air this season. A combination of intense competitive spirit and outstanding sportsmanship."
Brandon Morales Wauconda
When Wauconda needed a player to step up, it called on Morales. He led the team in the midfield and contributed 11 goals and 5 assists. "He's always on the field and near the ball," Wauconda coach Patrick Heckmann said. "He leads the attack and works his tail off to come back and win the ball back on defense. As our tallest player on a short team, so his responsibility on defending corners and free kicks is to be first to the ball in the air. He's a leader by example, on the field and off."
Eric Morales Mundelein
Dependability and strength were the hallmarks of the Mundelein defense. And Morales was the main reason behind that identity as the Mustangs finished 10-6-5. "Eric was one of the best defenders in Mundelein history," Mundelein coach Ernie Billittier said, "He combines his great physical attributes with an elite understanding of the game and great technical ability. His leadership has played a pivotal role in our success this year. He has a natural desire to win and his execution in practice and games is a testament to that."
Joey Mudd Grayslake Central
Mudd's commitment to doing it right helped steer the Rams' attack, as he finished with 15 goals and 5 assists and helped Grayslake Central to a Fox Valley Fox Division championship and a deep postseason run. "Joey is the hardest worker that I have seen in a long time at the high school level," Grayslake Central coach Steve Feldman said. "Not only does he work hard on the soccer field, he pushes himself as hard as his body can take during every game and practice. He is the true definition of a never-give-up attitude. He is always asking questions and wants to get better. He has a great attitude and the team looks up to him both on and off the field."
Eric Pedersen Antioch
Pedersen, mainly a defender in the past, moved forward this season and helped out on the attack with 7 goals and 2 assists. "He played an unfamiliar position to start the season but did what needed to be done for the good of the team," Antioch coach Marni Polakow said. "Since we changed the formation he now enjoys a more attacking role and has made other teams pay. He is an aggressive ball-winner both on the ground and in the air, and he owns anything and everything in his vicinity. Good luck getting past him, because he refuses to get beat 1v1. He goes in hard to every challenge and always seems to win the ball."
Evan Potter Carmel Catholic
A workhorse operating in the middle for the Corsairs, Potter was equally comfortable with creating scoring opportunities and finishing off chances. He contributed with 13 goals and 12 assists in helping the Corsairs to a Class 3A regional championship. "Evan has the ability to strike a quality ball from anywhere on the field," Carmel Catholic coach Ray Krawzak said. "When he cuts inside with the ball, he hits dangerous shots and can score great goals."
Eddie Ramirez Round Lake
Round Lake found plenty of success this season, and much of it can be traced back to the performance of their standout senior midfielder. Ramirez excelled over a four-year career and made his last one his best, with 13 goals and 14 assists. "He was get knocked around and would want to go back into the games," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "Eddie played with a lot of heart never stopped playing -- left everything on the field."
Freddie Ramirez Round Lake
The younger brother to Eddie, Freddie showed he was already ready. Learning on the fly at forward for Round Lake, Freddie Ramirez paced the team with 18 goals and 8 assists as a sophomore. "A true forward, and he's there to score goals," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "He filled in for the players that graduated and keeps learning a lot. He has worked hard on his passing. He's always trying to improve his game as his speed has increased."
Hector Ruiz Mundelein
His strength and consistency at midfield made a difference all season long for Mundelein. Ruiz led the Mustangs by efficiently starting the attack, as he completed 81 percent of his passes and finished with 2 goals and 6 assists. "Hector has been one of our most important players all season," Mundelein coach Ernie Billittier said. "He's a true midfielder in terms of his vision and passing completion. His technical ability and soccer IQ make him a constant threat to other teams, and his consistency is tremendous."
Omar Valadez Grant
Grant needed someone to take charge. Up stepped Valadez. He was a big asset as an attacking midfielder who finished with 8 goals and 2 assists. "Omar is very deadly with both feet," Grant coach Bryan Mark said. "Usually you see a huge difference in players regarding their weaker foot, but Omar does not have one. He is a great playmaker and distributor of the ball. Most, if not all of our goals, Omar had a part in. He was a team captain and motivator, consistently raising his play for teammates to try and match . His determination and drive was unmatched at practice and games all season long."
Nick Vogel Libertyville
Vogel's balanced approach to the game meant a lot to Libertyville. His work from the midfield netted 11 goals with 4 assists and helped provide continuity for the Wildcats. He was comfortable in a leadership role and showed it in each game. "He has excellent ball control and shoot with either foot," said coach Andy Bitta, who said Vogel one one of his team's top talents. "He also has the ability to score with his head."
David White Vernon Hills
White's contributions put Vernon Hills' foes in a black mood all season long. His leadership from the midfield helped the Cougars net a Class 2A regional title. "David has been the workhorse for this team all season long," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "He's a leader both physically and vocally for this group, game in and game out. He has the ability to control an entire game with his technical and tactical abilities and he is very strong out of the air."
Player School Yr. Pos.
Gavin Amburn Grayslake North Jr. F
Jon Borzick Lakes Sr. D/MF
Lloyd Chatfield Libertyville Sr. F
Adam Cloe Carmel Sr. MF/F
Jeremy Cohen Vernon Hills Sr. MF/F
Michael Dobin Stevenson Sr. D
Richard Galat Lakes Sr. MF/F
*Iven Hernandez Antioch Jr. F
Miguel Hernandez Lake Zurich Sr. F
RJ Hill Warren Jr. GK
Isaac Longenecker Grayslake Central Jr. MF
Rafa Macias Warren Sr. MF
Ethan Marx Stevenson Jr. MF
Brandon Morales Wauconda Sr. MF
Eric Morales Mundelein Sr. D
Joey Mudd Grayslake Central Jr. F
Eric Pedersen Antioch Jr. MF/F
Evan Potter Carmel Sr. MF
Eddie Ramirez Round Lake Sr. MF
Freddie Ramirez Round Lake So. F
Hector Ruiz Mundelein Jr. MF
Omar Valadez Grant Sr. MF/F
Nick Vogel Libertyville Sr. MF
David White Vernon Hills Sr. MF
Jack Abry (Lake Zurich, Jr. MF), Raul Albor (Round Lake, Jr. MF), Karl Bappert (Warren, Sr. D), John Bohman (Antioch, Sr. MF), Lucas Buckels (Grayslake North, Jr. D/MF), Ryan Bryson (Vernon Hills, Sr. D), Thomas Furlong (Antioch, Jr. MF), Lino Garcia (Mundelein, Jr. MF), Armando Gomez (Mundelein, Jr. F), Connor Gosell (Grayslake Central, So. GK), Cobi Illian (Stevenson, Jr. MF), Jeremy Jenich (Carmel, Sr. MF/F), Timmy Karich (Carmel, Jr. MF), Ilya Kravtsev (Vernon Hills, Jr. F), Paul Kulis (Grayslake Central, So. F), Johhny Madrid (Grayslake Central, Jr. F), Sam Muchmore (Libertyville, Jr. GK), Ian Murray (Lake Zurich, Jr. MF), Edgar Nieto (Round Lake, Jr. MF), Timmy Oehrlein (Grant, Sr. MF), Jake Ortiz (Wauconda, Sr. GK), Joe Osman (Grant, Sr. D), Elijah Parker (Warren, Sr. D), Kevin Reilly (Libertyville, So. D), Alex Reyes (Wauconda, So. D), Hector Salazar (Warren, Sr. D), Joey Savino (Lakes, Sr. F), Carlos Schultz (Libertyville, Sr. MF), Alejandro Sotello (Round Lake, Fr. F), Andreas Thedorf (Grayslake North, Sr. D), Tommy Tritschler (Antioch, Sr. GK), Cam Tsvchida (Lakes, Sr. D), Jimmy Wang (Stevenson, Sr. MF), Brian Werchek (Lakes, Sr. MF/F)
Selections and profiles by Rusty Silber