Wildcat soccer players earn All-District honors

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Cassville Wildcat soccer team landed eight players on the Class 2, District 6 postseason honors list.

Seniors Uziel Franco and Luis Ortega and junior Ross Delossantos were named to the All-District first team. This is the second year in a row that both Franco and Delossantos have earned first team honors. Last season, Ortega was a second team honoree.

With 48 goals, Franco is the district's top goal scorer. The senior set new school records for goals scored in a season (48), goals scored during a game (seven) and career goals (103).

"Uziel by many standards can be considered one of the best players to ever have played on a southwest Missouri team," said Coach Brian Wilbanks.

Delossantos is an anchor along the Wildcats' back line. He has earned a reputation as a hard-nosed defender with a strong leg and plenty of speed.

"Ross has very quick feet and knows where to be on the field, which makes him one of the better defenders to have ever played at Cassville," said Coach Wilbanks.

Ortega played in the midfield and as a forward this season, tallying eight goals and six assists for the year.

"Luis was involved in almost every play on the field," said Coach Wilbanks. "He's a real go-getter."

Second team All-District honors were earned by junior Matt Angel and seniors Corey Wilbanks and Michael Rush.

Angel is a midfielder who has now earned back-to-back All-District second team distinction. Corey is a member of the Wildcats' defensive core who received All-District honorable mention recognition in 2008. Rush served as goalkeeper for Cassville.

"Matt is a solid presence in the middle of the field and surely would have been next in line for first team honors if more were available," said Coach Wilbanks. "Corey has set a standard of tough defense on the right side of the field and scored two goals out of the defense."

A pair of players received All-District honorable mention recognition as well. Juniors Bryan Schroeder and Caleb Wilbanks received this honor. Wilbanks played defense for Cassville, and Schroeder played midfield as well as filling in as goalkeeper during the district championship game.

"Bryan showed up in a big way at the district tournament, scoring the game-winning goal against Monett and doing very well in goal during the championship game," Coach Wilbanks said.

"Caleb has also come on strong this year, becoming a staple of the defense," said Coach Wilbanks.

Other players that Coach Wilbanks believes would have received All-District honors if Cassville had been seeded higher in the district tournament include senior Omar Valenzuela, junior Justin Mills and Jesus Rivera.

"I would also like to say that Nashe Lugeanbeal was a wonderful senior addition to our team this year, helping us out in many positions in many games," said Coach Wilbanks.

The Wildcats ended the 2008 season with an impressive 17-7 record and concluded play as district runners-up.

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