Coming off the best soccer season in a decade at Granbury High, one would expect the Pirates to pretty much dominate the district awards.
And they did.
Granbury received four superlative awards and 13 honors in all from the league’s coaches as the All-District 15-4A Soccer Team was announced recently.
Junior Marco Ramirez was named the district’s most valuable player, freshman Freddy Espinoza was named offensive newcomer of the year, and senior Patrick Kirby was selected goalkeeper of the year.
Also, Doug Kissinger was honored as coach of the year for a third consecutive year, the same amount of time he’s been the head coach of the Pirates.
First-team choices seniors Erick Garcia, Ryan Hammonds and Matt Rose. Senior Fernando Sanchez, junior Shaun Gomez and freshman Hunter McKenna were named to the second team, and senior Jason Davis, junior Christian Carnes and sophomore Jacob Rose received honorable mention.
Ramirez led the Pirates in goals (15) and tied Garcia for the team lead in assists (9). Sanchez was second in goals (13), and Hammonds and Espinoza tied for third (6).
Kirby, splitting time with senior Julio Moreno, was a part of 14 shutouts this season, playing mostly in the second half of games.
“I am proud of the guys that received the awards,” said Kissinger. “I would have liked it if we would have received a defensive award. I definitely have more first-teamers as well.”
Granbury outscored its opponents 54-19 and allowed one goal or less in 20 games. In district they outscored their opponents 34-5 and no one scored more than a single goal against them.
The Pirates won a fifth consecutive district championship and finished with the second-most victories since the program started in 1988 (20-4-5). Only the 1999 state championship team (21-1) had more victories and more shutouts (15).
“It’s been pretty incredible, making it to the varsity and then making it this far,” Espinoza said after the Pirates were eliminated 2-0 in the 4A Region I quarterfinals (fourth round) by Wichita Falls Rider.
Matt Rose said the most special part of the season was playing alongside his younger brother Jacob.
“This was a great way to finish my high school soccer career,” said Matt. “It was great playing with Jacob.”
Last season, Matt Rose was a second-team selection and won superlative honors as defensive newcomer in 2011, Gomez was the defensive newcomer in 2012, Carnes was on the first team last year, and Carnes was honorable mention last year.
Eight Lady Pirates honored
Aubrey Caudle wrapped up her Lady Pirate soccer career by being named All-District 15-4A first team by the league’s coaches. She is one of two first-team picks from the Lady Pirates, along with junior Kelci Slaughter.
Second-team choices are juniors Courtney Heathington and Lily Middleton. Juniors Hannah Hiler, Maggie Kirby and Maggie McKenna, along with sophomore Lydia Rife, received honorable mention.
Slaughter led the Lady Pirates (8-14-2-6-2 in district) in goals with 13. McKenna led in assists with six.
For seven of the Lady Pirates district honord were repeated. Slaughter was a first-team pick last year after being defensive newcomer of the year in 2011, McKenna and Rife were offensive and defensive newcomers of the year in 2012, Caudle and Hiler were second-teamers last year, Heathington was honorable mention in 2012, and Caudle has been honorable mention two straight years.
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All-District 15-4A Soccer Teams
Marco Ramirez, jr.
Offensive newcomer of the year
Freddy Espinoza, fr.
Goalkeeper of the year
Patrick Kirby, sr.
Coach of the year
Erick Garcia, sr.; Ryan Hammonds, sr.; Matt Rose, sr.
Shaun Gomez, jr.; Fernando Sanchez, sr.; Hunter McKenna, soph.
Christian Carnes, jr.; Jason Davis, sr.; Jacob Rose, soph.
Aubrey Caudle, sr.; Kelci Slaughter, jr.
Courtney Heathington, jr.; Lily Middleton, jr.
Hannah Hiler, jr.; Maggie Kirby, jr.; Maggie McKenna, jr.; Lydia Rife, soph.