Boys soccer: Lake County All-Area team
Carlos Aguilar Vernon Hills The Cougars had a number of players that got better over the season and it showed, as they reached the Class 2A sectional final. Aguilar maintained the middle for Vernon Hills with 5 goals and 5 assists in the attack. "Carlos was our true No. 10," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "He was our orchestrator in our attack with his technical ability and vision. He has the ability to slip penetrating passes in behind opponents backs with the best of them. He's deadly on set pieces and his work rate was unmatched in the middle of the park all year."
Bryan Alba Mundelein The hardworking senior midfielder/forward improved year to year and had his best season this past fall as a leader with 5 goals and 11 assists. He earned all-state honors. "Bryan is one of the most decorated players in Mundelein soccer history," Mundelein coach Ernie Billittier said. "He has all the abilities to be a game-changer. He's won multiple regional championships, tons of individual awards, and is the emotional leader of our team. Throughout his four years on varsity he consistently made critical plays in critical moments for us -- whether it be the final pass, an important goal, or a lung-busting defensive tracking run."
Preston Chartier Wauconda A lot of the success for Wauconda started in the back with its goalkeeper, who was named all-sectional. "His work ethic in practice is difficult to match, and his passion for playing goalie was immense," Wauconda coach Tim Miller said. "He gave maximum effort in every drill, and he is always pushing his teammates to improve and work hard in practice. Our program has many quality goalies, and Preston's work ethic and drive has provided a positive example for the future goalies in the program. Preston was the captain of the defense while in goal. He reads the game very well and he sees runs and passes developing in advance. He was a constant communicator, making sure that our back line has proper shape and movement. His technique and ability to read the game puts him in proper position to make saves, and the team can always count on him to make multiple highlight saves a game."
Nolan Ehlers WarrenDependable and versatile, the defender stabilized the back for the Blue Devils. He had 3 goals and 5 assists, and was named all-sectional. "Nolan provided our young team this season with leadership that helped us throughout the season," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "He has the ability to play a number of positions on the field, but we used him primarily as our center back helping us stay organized. He has a tremendous work rate and was one of the best vocal leaders we have had within our program."
Tony Fonseca Round LakeThe talented forward led the Panthers this season with 16 goals and 8 assists. An all-sectional selection, he led by example on the field. "He led the team with goals, he was a great leader and helped Maqiis (Haywood) step up his game," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "Tony was more of a leader this year, pushed players more and expected the best from them."
Alex Fedorets Mundelein The senior center back was just what the Mustangs needed. "He was physically gifted with size, speed and strength," Mustangs coach Ernie Billittier said. "He also has every intangible to be an effective player and leader. He is positionally aware, strong in the air, timely in his tackles, and has incredible passing range. ... He can also pick his head up and play diagonal balls to dangerous spaces. We had a huge plus/minus statistic this year, and that was because he kept us tidy in the back."
Andrew Gaetano LakesThe senior netted some outstanding goals while playing midfield, as he contributed with 6 goals and 11 assists. He also netted all-sectional honors. He played in more than 60 games the last two seasons. "Andrew was an outstanding player on both sides of the ball," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "He was a great passer of the ball at all distances and could deliver passes and shots with either foot. He also logged the most minutes of any player in the last two seasons by anyone on the team."
Maqiis Haywood Round Lake The attacking junior forward was named all-sectional. He tallied 14 goals and 10 assists in helping the Panthers earn a share of the Northern Lake County Conference title with Grayslake North. "Maqiis has been a big help up top with his speed, ball control and size," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "I believe he will build and make a name for himself next year."
Matt Heery Grayslake North The defensive midfielder provided stability and offense, too. He scored 12 goals and received all-sectional honors. "He was an incredibly important player for us as he managed to do it all for us," Grayslake North coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "Matt was fantastic on the defensive side of the ball, dominating in the air, winning tackles with his ability to read the game, and knowing how, when and where to step up and win the ball. There was no one that was more clutch in front of the goal for us this season than Matt. Matt was a target on set pieces and converted on each of his penalty kick attempts."
Grant Herbek Libertyville As a central defender, the DePaul-bound senior was a huge part of the Wildcats' success both defensively and offensively. He had 1 goal and 11 assists, and earned all-state honors to help lead Libertyville back to the Class 3A state championship match. "Another in a long line of outstanding central defenders to come through the Libertyville system," Wildcats coach Kevin Thunholm said. "Grant took over the team last summer and set the tone of accountability among his teammates, setting the bar high, which resulted in us being ahead in our development. Grant was very quiet and leads by example on and off the field. He was a solid leader in every sense of the word. Strong and physical, his sharp mind and keen awareness made him one of the best in state."
Logan Holevas Grayslake NorthThe hardworking midfielder provided 2 goals and 5 assists, and a lot more for the Knights. Named all-sectional, he was top-notch when it came to leadership. "He just leads in everything he does," Grayslake North coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "He is disciplined in every way, incredibly hardworking on both sides of the ball, and knows how to win, doing whatever the team needed for him to do to help him and his teammates find success. Logan's work rate allowed our team to keep possession and play in dangerous areas of the field, as he knows how to keep the ball, as well as how to win it back when we lost it. Logan is technically skilled, with tremendous vision and the ability to put the ball where he wants to, as he has great passing range and accuracy, which he used in running our midfield all season long."
Andrew Juarez Lake Zurich The midfielder helped the Bears reach the sectional final, and he earned all-sectional recognition. "Andrew was the type of player that would give you his best effort every day and in every situation," Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz said. "He played end line to end line creating as many chances offensively as he saved defensively. He was responsible for orchestrating our possession game from the central midfield, which allowed the team to play to the best of their ability. Defensively, he was responsible for disrupting the opposition as much as possible. His consistency in both areas contributed greatly to a very successful season."
Max Keenan LakesA varsity player since his freshman year, the 6-foot-2 midfielder tallied 10 goals and 10 assists, while earning all-sectional honors. He proved clutch, too. "He scored and assisted on a number of game-winning goals," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "He scored on headers, free kicks and shots in the run of play. He held his own against the best of teams with his dribbling, passing and composure on the ball."
Tanner Kelly LibertyvilleThe Libertyville senior midfielder came into his own, contributing both on the attack and defensively, as well. He scored 11 goals and assisted on 10 others this season. "The emergence of Tanner as a top-flight midfielder during the championship season was crucial," Libertyville coach Kevin Thunholm said. "Tanner was intelligent, hardworking and one of our leaders in minutes. He was as dependable as any we've ever had. Beyond the game, he was even a better person, who carried the banner of character and integrity for us. He showed a nice range of passing skills to help build the attack and was a quality service provider. Terrific timing in the tackle and aerial strength helped make him an all-around player."
Zach Klaber StevensonThe all-sectional senior keeper allowed just 10 goals and had 8 shutouts. "He demonstrated the highest level at his position," Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. "His amazing quickness and range from post to post made it difficult for our opponents. He was outstanding as a communicator. He gave our team a confidence that we would be in every contest."
Eli Larson CarmelThe senior defender contributed 3 goals and 2 assists and provided a lot more for the Corsairs. "Eli meant a great deal to our team this year," Carmel coach Ray Krawzak said. "He has great awareness on the field, and he can call out instructions from the back. Eli knew how to make dangerous attacking runs that often caught the opponents off guard and really energized his teammates. He is a threat in the air and did really well for us on corners and throw ins. He's a quality player and an outstanding person. He looks out for his younger teammates and taught them how to have high expectations of themselves."
Kai Mayahara StevensonHe took on a leadership role as a defensive midfielder and embraced it, earning all-sectional honors. "His season leadership was outstanding," Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. "He was our most successful captain in many years. He played every minute of every game. His unselfish style of play and work rate made him invaluable. He read the game better than any player we had."
Jaden McCreary Lake Zurich The speedy senior forward was dangerous every time he touched the ball in the offensive end. He finished with a team-leading 12 goals and 2 assists, and received all-sectional honors. "Jaden was a consistent threat," Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz said. "He was the fastest player on the field, and he used his speed to not only score but also put pressure on opposing defenses. He created great scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates in every single game. He consistently gave his best effort in games and practices, and pushed his teammates and himself to be better every day."
Evan Rasmussen Libertyville No player was more of a threat to score, especially in the air, than the Michigan-bound senior forward. He helped the Wildcats to a second straight runner-up finish at state by tallying 34 goals and 14 assists. "A trademark of Evan's game was his pace and work rate, both tracking back and when pressing the opponent," Libertyville coach Kevin Thunholm said of his all-state player and captain of the all-area team. "He had the essential for a top-level striker. He was unstoppable in the air. It was amazing to watch him grow in all four years. He developed into a such complete player and fantastic leader of our program."
Mickey Reilly Libertyville The speedy junior midfielder was always on the move and had a nose for the goal. He had 13 goals and 11 assists for the Class 3A state runner-up. "Mickey's technical ability coupled with the mental side of his game allows him to see passes others can't, dribble at back lines to create opportunities for himself and others, and finish chances when given," Libertyville coach Kevin Thunholm said. "Mickey was everything you want in a student-athlete. He always trains hard, encourages others, and demands a high level of performance for the team whether in games or training."