Boys soccer: Lake County all-area team
Max Bermann Wauconda
The junior defender/midfielder had a knack of seeing the field well and knowing what to do with the ball. He had 3 goals and 5 assists. "He's an inside mid with great vision for the game," coach Patrick Heckmann said. "He was a leader on the team. The kids look up to him on and off the field. He's a key part in our set plays and a target in the other team's box. He always has a positive attitude and led by example."
Lucas Buckels Grayslake North
The senior midfielder/forward earned all-sectional honors. He moved from the back to an attacking role and led the Knights with 8 goals. "He was the heart of our team this year," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "His vision, composure and ability on the ball provided a stable and confident defensive platform for our team to build upon. He would make the most of his chances. He's physical in the air and determined to do whatever the team needed of him. He's the whole package -- physical, powerful, calm, and composed, while also being one of the most technical players we have ever had."
Parker Edwards Lakes
The senior was the leader in the center back spot for the Eagles. "He was an excellent defender and can play both center-back and wingback positions equally well," coach Kevin Kullby said. "He has been the one defender who can match up with the best attackers and do well preventing their best efforts. He organizes the defense very well and has orchestrated our offsides trap that has been very effective against the best of teams. He also has been effective in jump-starting our attack with pinpoint passing out of the back."
Justin Ehren Carmel Catholic-
Sneaky and strong, the senior midfielder earned all-sectional honors. He tallied 9 goals and 7 assists. "He was a sneaky left-footed player," coach Ray Krawzak said. "He excelled at taking people on down the sidelines of the field and putting in excellent service. He has a tool kit of tricks with the ball at his feet. His technique on the ball and agility make him a dangerous attacking threat."
Alex Fratila Warren
Whether playing in the back or middle, the junior was always a factor. He scored 5 goals and had 6 assists. "He was a jack-of-all-trades this season," coach Jason Ahonen said. "He's a team-first player, which is a coach's dream. All he wanted to do was win. He'll do whatever is necessary to accomplish that goal. He was so composed on the ball and connected his passing at an astounding rate."
Manny Garcia Grant
The Bulldogs were competitive in most matches this season, and that was due in large part to the senior midfielder/forward, who contributed a team-leading 9 goals. "He was our main offensive threat, and when he got the ball on his foot, good things happened," coach Bryan Mark said. "Even in games where we didn't see much possession, he continued to work hard and prove that he is an elite player. Many young players on the team fed off his work rate, and that proved to be very important. His touch, vision and overall skill on the soccer field was top notch."
Armando Gomez Mundelein
The senior midfielder was one of the top scorers in Lake County this season, producing 18 goals and 6 assists. "He was the engine of our soccer team," coach Ernie Billittier said of his all-sectional performer. "He has an obvious knack for the game with great technical ability and a high soccer IQ, but what makes him so special is his high work rate. He played the game with such a high intensity and passion that he is just as effective as a defender as he is a goal scorer. He scores beautiful goals and frustrates defenses, and he is also willing to track marks."
Nick Haas Warren
Work ethic and talent stood out with the senior midfielder, who put together an all-state campaign. Haas had 5 goals and 5 assists. "He had the ability to play anywhere on the field," coach Jason Ahonen said. Haas played outside midfielder on the Blue Devils' state-championship team in 2012, before anchoring center midfield the last couple of years. "He has wonderful touch and vision," Ahonen said, "and he can beat you with speed and skill."
Iven Hernandez Antioch
One of the most prolific scorers in the state the last couple years, the senior midfielder/forward tallied 35 goals to go along with 12 assists this season. A two-time all-state selection, he finished with a school-record 102 career goals. "Many of them were game winners in big games," coach Marni Polakow said. "He continued to dazzle and scored some incredible goals this year. Several included receiving the ball deep in our own half and taking on an entire team over the distance of 60-plus yards to bury it into the back of the net."
R.J. Hill Warren
The all-state goalkeeper is the captain of the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team. He'll be making more saves next year at Eastern Illinois University, as he recently verbally committed to the Panthers. He backstopped the Blue Devils to the North Suburban Conference championship. "He's one of those players that understands the big picture," coach Jason Ahonen said. "He learned a lot from players before him like Brady Walsh (Marquette)."
Mason Homsey Mundelein
The Mustangs looked up to the captain, who notched 11 goals and 4 assists. "He was always one of the top players on the field at any given time," coach Ernie Billittier said. "He combines power and finesse with speed and composure. He is great in the air, is strong with his back to goal as a target forward and can beat defenders one (on) one. When dealing with adversity during the game, the team turns to him for his calming presence."
Isaac Longenecker Grayslake Central
Another dynamic scorer, the senior led the Rams with 18 goals and 11 assists in an all-sectional campaign. "He loved having the ball at his feet," coach Steve Feldman said. "He would attack with speed and always try and find a little gap to get through. He had a lot of confidence on the ball, and is a true leader on and off the field. Isaac loved taking players on one (on) one and scored some huge goals for us in some big games."
Johnny Madrid Grayslake Central
The senior midfielder displayed a natural ability with the ball. An all-sectional midfielder, he notched 7 goals and 7 assists. "He was able to dribble with speed and turn with the ball at will without the defense coming close to him," coach Steve Feldman said. "He loved to distribute the ball, and that is why he was so successful. He had a lot of confidence on the ball, and when he did not have the ball, his runs were just as good."
Ethan Marx Stevenson
The all-sectional midfielder had 4 goals and 3 assists. His defensive presence, work ethic and versatility were some of his greatest assets. "He was our rock this season," coach Mark Schartner said. "He played positions from last man to striker, middle to outside. As one of our captains, Ethan was an outstanding leader and was consistent both on and off the field. He really has been our most consistent player. His attitude and heart are exactly what every coach dreams."
Sam Muchmore Libertyville
Muchmore couldn't do much more in net than he did. The senior keeper posted 8 shutouts and a 0.85 goals-against average. "He was a good goalie for a good defense," coach Andy Bitta said. "He had excellent footwork and hand-eye coordination, and was fearless coming off the line on breakaways."
Joey Mudd Grayslake Central
Mudd helped the Rams clean up in the Fox Valley Fox, as they won the division. A heart-and-passion kind of player, the senior scored 18 goals and added 2 assists. "He played with more heart than I have ever seen," coach Steve Feldman said. "He was very passionate about the game of soccer, and it showed on the field. He always gave 100 percent in every game and hustled to every single ball in every single game. He used his body especially well up top for us and was able to hold the ball up against some of the best defenders we played. He was extremely fast and was able to make perfect runs to split the defense, and scored many breakaway goals because of it."
Ian Murray Lake Zurich
The senior midfielder collected all-sectional honors, as he tallied 9 goals and 6 assists. "He was a complete player who gave maximum effort and contributed at both the defensive and offensive ends of the field," coach Mike Schmitz said. "His combination of speed and skill allow him to be a dangerous playmaker and goal scorer, as well. His toughness and selfless attitude were great examples for the team."
Edgar Nieto Round Lake
The senior playmaker controlled the midfield for the high-scoring Panthers. He scored 2 goals and assisted on 13. "He really controlled the field with great vision and touch in the middle," coach Hugo Tellez said. "With it being his third year on the varsity, he helped the newer midfielders on their touches and taught them the importance of working for the ball."
Ryan Pacholski Libertyville
The senior defender was consistent in the back An all-sectional player, he was a big reason why the Wildcats gave up only seven goals in four of their losses. "He rarely made any mistakes and was a great all-around player," coach Andy Bitta said. "He was the best in back and it was his natural position. We didn't give up many goals because of him. He was a great tackler, anticipated passing lanes and had great timing on going up for head balls."
Eric Pedersen Antioch
The senior defender was "Mr. Utility" on the pitch, and displayed his versatility for four varsity years. "He has played many different roles, from anchoring the back line to the top striker role," coach Marni Polakow said. "No matter which position he played, he played it with heart and without complaining. He can play any position on the field and play it effectively, whether it's winning balls in the air, breaking up attacks, distributing with precision, or scoring goals."
Freddie Ramirez Round Lake
Game in and game out, Freddie was ready -- to score. In his third varsity season, the junior forward used his quickness and skills to set a school record with 33 goals. He became an all-state player. "He was a driving force in two come-from-behind wins over Antioch and Grayslake Central," coach Hugo Tellez said. "He's the best all-around forward. He can score and defend, and he's got a passion to become even better, as he trained very hard in the off-season."
Kyle Robson Libertyville
A newcomer to the Wildcats varsity, the senior defender was a pleasant surprise. He was named all-sectional. "He loved the game and played as hard in games as he did in practice," coach Andy Bitta said. "He just played bigger than he was. He was a great tackler, excellent passer to start the offense, and had a long throw in."
Dan Ross Lake Zurich
The senior anchored the back for the third straight year. "His consistency has contributed to a successful defense and has helped to thwart opposing offenses," coach Mike Schmitz said. "His toughness and effort allowed him to clean up any mistakes in the defensive end. He contributed greatly to the team's overall success."
Krystian Streit Antioch
Despite playing outside back, the senior totaled 10 goals and 17 assists. "Those stats are almost unheard of, but he has an uncanny way of getting involved in the attack while not giving up anything defensively," coach Marni Polakow said. "He often dispossessed the other team's striker and created goal-scoring opportunities for our attack. His work rate is second to none, and he has a striker's touch in front of the goal."
Alejandro Sotelo Round Lake
Only a sophomore, Sotelo was so good with the ball at his feet. His 18 goals and 28 assists helped make him an all-sectional player. "He was an unselfish player with a big heart," coach Hugo Tellez said. "He had a lot of passion and trained with front-runner and teammate Freddie Ramirez in the off-season. He showed great touches and footwork."
Chris White Vernon Hills
The Cougars had a young team, but the sophomore played like a veteran. He scored 7 goals, dished out 6 assists and was named all-sectional. "A catalyst to our team and program," coach Mike McCaulou said. "He never stops working for his teammates, has great size and is strong out of the air. Technically speaking, he is, by far, the best player in our program. I think anybody that has played us this year will agree. He has had to step in and be a leader both physically and vocally this year. Tactically, he is on top of the game. Which really helps our team in keeping shape and keeping the ball."
Danny Wilson Grayslake North
Forwards and midfielders couldn't have had much fun playing against the senior defender. "He was our no-nonsense outside back that matched up against quality strikers and wingers and shut them down consistently," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "He's was one of the quickest players on the field at any given point, and he helps us start our attacks with his willingness and ability to get forward in a hurry. His speed and determination allowed us to transition from defense to attack quicker than we have in the past, while he was also able to cover his teammates defensively."
Player School Yr. Pos.
Max Bermann Wauconda Jr. D/MF
Lucas Buckels Grayslake North Sr. MF/F
Parker Edwards Lakes Sr. D
Justin Ehren Carmel Sr. MF
Alex Fratila Warren Jr. MF
Manny Garcia Grant Sr. MF/F
Armando Gomez Mundelein Sr. MF
Nick Haas Warren Sr. MF
Iven Hernandez Antioch Sr. MF/F
*R.J. Hill Warren Sr. GK
Mason Homsey Mundelein Sr. F
Isaac Longenecker Grayslake Central Sr. MF/F
Johnny Madrid Grayslake Central Sr. MF
Ethan Marx Stevenson Sr. MF
Sam Muchmore Libertyville Sr. GK
Joey Mudd Grayslake Central Sr. F
Ian Murray Lake Zurich Sr. MF
Edgar Nieto Round Lake Sr. MF
Ryan Pacholski Libertyville Sr. D
Eric Pedersen Antioch Sr. D
Freddie Ramirez Round Lake Jr. F
Kyle Robson Libertyville Sr. D
Dan Ross Lake Zurich Sr. D
Alejandro Sotelo Round Lake So. MF/F
Krystian Streit Antioch Sr. MF
Chris White Vernon Hills So. D/MF
Danny Wilson Grayslake North Sr. D
* all-area captain
Honorable mention Jack Abry (Lake Zurich, Sr. D), Adrian Avila (Grant, Sr. D), Danny Brito (Antioch, Jr. MF), Scott Cloe (Carmel, Jr. MF), Austin Ehren (Carmel, Fr. F), Derek Espinosa (Lakes, Sr. D), Ivan Esquivel (Warren, Jr. MF), Collin Foote (Lake Zurich, Sr. MF), Collin Foreman (Lake Zurich, Sr. F), Chris Fox (Wauconda, Fr. D), Cam Fragassi (Libertyville, Sr. MF), Travis Furlong (Antioch, Sr. D/MF), Marcelo Gonzalez (Round Lake, Sr. MF), Connor Gosell (Grayslake Central, Jr. GK), Mitch Gullett (Stevenson, Sr. MF), Matt Hong (Vernon Hills, Jr. D), Dean Jones (Grayslake North, Sr. GK), Jeremy Klaber (Stevenson, Jr. GK), Donnie Kvien (Mundelein, Jr. GK), Braco Lasso (Carmel, Jr. F), Daniel Lee (Grant, Sr. D), Vladimir Marquez (Round Lake, So. MF), Ryan McKernan (Carmel, Jr. D/MF), Jack Monson (Lakes, Sr. GK), Kuzuki Niimi (Stevenson, Jr. MF), Kevin Penarrita (Warren, So. MF), Brennan Reback (Vernon Hills, So. GK), Kevin Reilly (Libertyville, Jr. F), Alex Reyes (Wauconda, Jr. D), Hector Ruiz (Mundelein, Sr. MF), Fernando Sanchez (Grayslake North, Sr. MF), Ben Sizelove (Grayslake Central, Jr. D), Trent Toohey (Libertyville, Sr. F), Chris Travis (Warren, Sr. D), Thomas Vondrak (Libertyville, Sr. MF), Chris Zamora (Grayslake North, Jr. MF)
Selections and profiles by Rusty Silber