2022 All-Area Athletes & Teams

All-Area Athletes and Teams

All-Area Athletes & Teams

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Page 24 of 39

www.yoursun.com Page 25 By VINNIE PORTELL SPORTS WRITER This year of boys soccer was one of the best in recent memory. The DeSoto County Bulldogs had their best season in pro- gram history as they finished 17-2, winning both a district and regional title on the way to a state semifinal finish. But it wasn't just the Bulldogs who made this year special. Lemon Bay, the only area team to beat DeSoto, also made it to regionals led by several talented playmakers, but lost the opener to Robinson as a heartbreaking last-minute goal sent the game to overtime — and an eventual loss. Charlotte almost made it to regionals, too, but took a tough 2-1 loss to Mariner in the district final after beating Ida Baker in double overtime to get there. North Port found itself in a similar spot as well — needing a district title to advance to regionals. The Bobcats beat Lehigh in the district playos, but couldn't get past sec- ond-seeded Gulf Coast in the semifinals. Venice met its fate in districts as well, handling Sarasota 5-0 before a 4-0 loss to top-seeded Riverview in the semifinals. Port Charlotte, working through a rebuilding season, struggled but won three games — against Lehigh, Sarasota and Island Coast — thanks to a talented defensive unit. Following the Bulldogs' his- toric run, Fernando Zepeda was named the Coach of the Year. See how it all shakes out in this year's Sun Preps boys soccer All-Area team FIRST TEAM JUAN BUENROSTRO DESOTO COUNTY, SOPHOMORE Buenrostro didn't just score in volume, he scored when it mattered most, too. The sopho- more striker was the Bulldogs' top oensive playmaker as he netted an area-best 23 goals while also dishing out a team- high 15 assists in just 14 games. His two goals in a 2-0 regional semifinal win against LaBelle proved to be the dierence — setting up a historic regional championship win. MICHAEL GREGGS LEMON BAY, SENIOR A third-year captain for the Mantas, Greggs was as experi- enced as he was reliable in his senior season as he played in nearly every minute of each game. Greggs finished with nine goals and six assists, but his value went beyond the stat line as he was a key leader on the way to a regional playo appearance. DYLAN SALOMON CHARLOTTE, SENIOR Salomon brought the clutch factor in his final season with Charlotte. Of his 11 goals, five of them were game-winners for the 10-5-1 Tarpons. His goal in the district final helped his team take an early lead in an eventual 2-1 loss to Mariner. EMANUEL BARAJAS DESOTO COUNTY, SENIOR A young Bulldogs team needed leadership last season and Barajas filled the role well. He scored just four goals, but often looked to pass rather than score on the way to 11 assists. He was also a steady defender as his 47 steals were third-most on a strong defensive unit. JOAN GAMEZ DESOTO COUNTY, JUNIOR Gamez was at the heart of the area's most dangerous midfield. Though he was plenty capable of providing oense — with seven goals and 10 assists — it was his footwork and defense that proved to be a dierence maker. Gamez led the Bulldogs with 74 steals across 14 games played. NICHOLAS ZIDANAVICIUS LEMON BAY, SENIOR One of the area's top play- makers, Zidanavicius was essential for the Mantas. The senior team captain scored 11 goals and had 13 assists, with several of those stats coming in key moments. He also served as one of the best defenders for a Mantas team that finished 8-6-2. LUCA RUEDA VENICE, JUNIOR Rueda can be labeled as a midfielder, but he played all over the field for the Indians this past season — making as big of an impact on oense as he did on defense. Rueda finished with six goals and seven assists for the Indians, including a pair of goals in the team's only postsea- son win. JJ POWERS LEMON BAY, SOPHOMORE Even though Powers was just a second-year player this season, he quickly became his team's top defender — drawing high praise from head coach Mark Hertz. "Best defender in (the) area, and by the time he is a senior, probably in southwest Florida," Hertz wrote in an email describ- ing Powers. "Extremely talent- ed, fearless, and excellent ball control. Key reason team had a 1.5 goals against average and four shutouts. The future looks solid at defense for the Manta Rays because of JJ." JEILEN AUGUSTIN DESOTO COUNTY, JUNIOR The Bulldogs recorded an area-best nine shutouts this season, and Augustin was a big reason why it was possible. The junior played the most minutes of any Bulldogs player as he use his length and strength to deflect and misdirect opposing attacks. Augustin finished with 25 steals and a pair of goals. BRADY WALTIMYER NORTH PORT, SENIOR A four-year player and captain for the Bobcats, Waltimyer was a reliable and tough defender for a squad that allowed one goal or less in 11 of its 18 games. AUSTIN SHEARER NORTH PORT, SENIOR Shearer stayed busy this season as he made 148 saves across 18 games. He finished the season with six clean sheets while saving 91% of shots on goal against him. SECOND TEAM ALEX CASH, Charlotte, senior KEATON CRYER, Port Charlotte, senior ALEJANDRO GARCIA, DeSoto County, senior MATTHEW GROVES, Venice, sophomore AUSELIO GUTIERREZ, DeSoto County, sophomore FERNANDO MARQUEZ, DeSoto County, senior TANNER MARTIN, Lemon Bay, junior NOAH RODRIGUEZ, Charlotte, senior LOGAN SWEET, Charlotte, senior BEN TARY, Venice, junior CHRIS VEGA, North Port, senior Historic Bulldogs season highlights the year DeSoto County is well-represented after a regional championship SUN FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS BLAKE DeSoto County's Juan Buenrostro tries to gain control of the ball in front of Robinson's Leyton Perkey during a regional championship game this past March at DeSoto County High School. ALL-AREA BOYS SOCCER

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