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Fresh off an overtime loss to Blacksburg during Friday’s Virginia High School League Group 3A Boys Soccer semifinals, Lafayette had three players earn all-state honors for Group 3A.
The two Rams to earn first-team honors were midfielder Reeves Trott and defender Denzel Speed, while forward Jason Eckenrode was named to the second team.
“All three of those guys are premier players,” Lafayette coach Brian Sorrell said. “They’re very deserving of all-state honors. I don’t think we would have gotten to the state championships without those three guys.”
Trott, Lafayette’s leading scorer with 22 goals, played in 13 of 21 games this season after sustaining an undisclosed injury in the middle of the season. Trott, who was also named Conference 25 Player of the Year, returned to action and helped lead Lafayette to the state semifinals, where he scored a goal against Blacksburg.
“Reeves can distribute the ball better than anybody out there,” Sorrell said. “Blacksburg gave up two goals in the regular season and Trott scored on them within the first six minutes. He only played in 13 games this year and had 20-something goals. He’s the one that sets the tempo of the game. That’s why he’s a captain.”
As a defender, Speed does not have gaudy season stats with one goal and two assists. However, Speed was recognized as a state-caliber defender, often serving as the last line of defense for Lafayette as a sweeper – usually a central defender that “sweeps up” an attacker if they get behind the rest of the defense.
Sorrell said Speed is a more natural outside back, but took on the role as the center of the Rams defense and performed admirably this season.
“Denzel deserves every honor he gets,” Sorrell said. “I knew coming into this year that we had to rebuild the defense and everything centered around Denzel. He took on guys and did things he didn’t normally do. He was the last line of defense and he knew it.”
Despite not reaching the state tournament, York had four players named to the Group 3A All-State first team. The four players selected were forward Bailey McClure, midfielder Max Poelker, defender Gavin Homan and goalkeeper Jacob Reimers.
McClure led the Falcons in scoring with 21 goals and added 17 assists. Poelker scored 15 goals and led York in assists.
Homan and Reimers proved instrumental to York reaching the 3A East semifinals, holding down the back line and shutting down opposing attacks all season.
The lone Historic Triangle second-team All-State selection, Eckenrode was second in scoring for Lafayette with 10 goals and seven assists. Sorrell said Eckenrode fought through injury problems all season, but still managed to play well during big moments.
“Eckenrode – what he does with the ball – when he gets the ball in space he’s almost unstoppable,” Sorrell said. “The hard part with his injury, he had a hard time with that restart and generating power on his first step. He was slower this year, but I really think he came through in clutch times. He still had a good amount of goals.”
Below are the All-State selections:
Player of the Year: Kevin Coleman, sophomore, Kettle Run
Coach of the Year: Philip Roper, Kettle Run
Forward: Shane Mecham, senior, Blacksburg
Forward: Reece Cooke, sophomore, Kettle Run
Forward: Bailey McClure, junior, York
Forward: Christian Resendiz, senior, Spotswood
Forward: Jordan Boone, junior, Christiansburg
Midfield: Kevin Coleman, sophomore, Kettle Run
Midfield: Garrett Magill, senior, Kettle Run
Midfield: Teig Lesko, senior, Blacksburg
Midfield: Reeves Trott, junior, Lafayette
Midfield: Max Poelker, junior, York
Defender: Daniel Morgan, senior, Kettle Run
Defender: Austin Prosser, senior, Blacksburg
Defender: Gavin Homan, junior, York
Defender: Denzel Speed, senior, Lafayette
Defender: Christian Atwell, sophomore, Spotswood
Goalkeeper: Jacob Reimers, sophomore, York
Forward: Khari Jones, junior, James Monroe
Forward: Jed Dalton, junior, Kettle Run
Forward: Jason Eckenrode, junior, Lafayette
Forward: Skyler Mattox, junior, Cave Spring
Forward: Ely Spencer, junior, Rockbridge
Midfield: Dan Friedberg, senior, Blacksburg
Midfield: Ryan Hepburn, senior, Christiansburg
Midfield: Will Donohoe, senior, John Champe
Midfield: Leo Cruz, junior, Spotswood
Midfield: Ahamed Abdelnabi, senior, Brookville
Defender: Austin Briles, junior, Kettle Run
Defender: Ross Rudzinsky, senior, James Monroe
Defender: Paxton Daniels, junior, Cave Spring
Defender: Aaron VanRavestein, junior, Lord Botetourt
Defender: Nikito Vazquez, senior, Turner Ashby
Goalkeeper: Alex Sullivan, junior, Christiansburg