All-Area Boys' Soccer: Meet the first team
Centennial, senior, goalkeeper
Why he made it: Illinois Coaches Association all-stater didn’t allow a goal in 10 matches, and just three of 19 opponents scored more than two goals.
Season highlight: Future University of Illinois agricultural and biological engineering major has quick reflexes and a great field presence; established career saves record for Chargers, 95 coming this season.
A few of my favorite things: Bacon and eggs ... Jack Wilshere ... AP biology ... "Looper" ... “Magic Mike” ... Olive Garden ... 1998 Ford Taurus ... Soccer Country.
Three things on my bucket list: Kiss Devin Brugman, find out how Lost ended and grow a beard.
Urbana, senior, midfielder
Why he made it: Illinois Coaches Association all-stater a quality scorer, a deft passer and someone who can break opposing defenses down with his dribble. An unselfish player who starts the team’s offense.
Season highlight: All-Area first-team repeater is the Area Player of the Year and was one of two 21-goal scorers (joining Jonathan Lukusa) on Urbana’s state runner-up Class 2A team.
A few of my favorite things: Hot wings ... Hunter Jacobs ... Broadcasting ... “The Vow” ... Morgan Lewis ... Siam Terrace ... Ford Explorer ... Soccer Planet.
Three things on my bucket list: Live in Atlanta, Ga., beat Coach Blackman in pickleball and dunk a basketball.
Monticello, sophomore, forward
Why he made it: All-sectional selection on pace to become one of the school’s all-time greats. With 27 career goals, ranks sixth on the all-time school list with half of his prep career remaining.
Season highlight: Set a school season record with 16 assists, breaking a mark (13) held by his brother, Jacob. Also scored a team-high 19 goals.
A few of my favorite things: Steak and potatoes ... Clint Dempsey ... chemistry ... “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy ... Fun ... Mumford & Sons ... Texas Road House ... Helping my uncle at his auctions.
Three things on my bucket list: Go scuba diving, travel around Asia and play with the U.S. soccer team.
Danville, senior, defender
Why he made it: A tenacious defender with a strong understanding of the game. “His speed bailed us out of numerous defensive messes,” Danville coach Chris Griffin said. “His ability to read the play helped break up opponents' attacks before they became a threat.”
Season highlight: Although he was an all-sectional defender, still managed three goals and four assists (which tied for third among the Vikings).
A few of my favorite things: Steak ... Lionel Messi ... Mathematics ... “Toy Story” ... Kevin Hart ... Texas Roadhouse ... My Nikes ... Intern at Community Action.
Three things on my bucket list: Attend a Barcelona game, score 40 goals and go on a date with Rihanna.
Blue Ridge, senior, forward
Why he made it: Future Western Illinois University criminal justice major an all-sectional pick who accounted for 40 percent of his team’s 119 goals.
Season highlight: Second in area in scoring with 30 goals and third in assists with 18.
A few of my favorite things: Steak ... Cristiano Ronaldo ... History ... “Taken” ... Johnny Depp ... Buffalo Wild Wings ... My brother ... 1996 Ford Ranger ... Bloomington-Normal Relocation Services.
Two things on my bucket list: Go skydiving and visit England.
Champaign Central, senior, midfielder
Why he made it: Illinois Coaches Association all-stater accounted for nearly half of his team’s goals. Between goals and assists, had a role in 26 of 54 goals.
Season highlight: One of two returning starters, led the Maroons in scoring (16 goals) and to a winning season thanks to his ability to use both feet with ease.
A few of my favorite things: Barbecued chicken ... Mesut Ozil ... Physical Education ... “Toy Story” ... Jackie Chan ... Panda Express ... Mazda.
Two things on my bucket list: To swim in the ocean and to play professional soccer.
Champaign Central, sophomore, midfielder
Why he made it: In his second year of high school ball is already a two-time all-sectional selection. Quick and strong, can beat most defenders one-on-one.
Season highlight: Had nine goals and four assists for the 10-8-2 Maroons.
A few of my favorite things: Fried chicken ... Lionel Messi ... Mathematics ... “Titanic” ... Kevin Hart ... Ellie Knox ... My bicycle.
Three things on my bucket list: To visit Africa, to play professional soccer and to meet Lionel Messi.
Urbana Uni High, senior, midfielder
Why he made it: All-sectional selection was fourth in the area in assists with 16. “One of the best natural playmakers I’ve had the privilege to work with,” Uni High coach Phil Anders said.
Season highlight: All-Area first-team repeater set the school career record for assists (62) and ranks fifth in goals scored (60). Played in 82 prep games.
A few of my favorite things: Pizza ... Edin Dzeko ... Calculus ... “Borat” ... Sacha Cohen ... Olive-Garden ... A Toyota ... Internship at UI’s Facilities and Services.
Three things on my bucket list: Play at old Trafford Stadium, go into space and travel the world.
Urbana, senior, forward
Why he made it: Illinois Coaches Association all-stater a four-year starter who broke the school’s career scoring record with 62 goals. “His size, speed and strength is rarely matched on the field,” Tigers coach Randy Blackman said.
Season highlight: All-Area first-team repeater led Tigers in assists with 10 and shared team scoring lead (with Miguel Fierro) with 21 goals.
A few of my favorite things: Steak pizza ... Cristiano Ronaldo ... English ... “The Hunger Games” ... Kevin Hart ... Applebee's ... My mom’s car ... Refereering.
Three things on my bucket list: Meet President Obama, meet Cristiano Ronaldo and play professional soccer.
Urbana, senior, defender
Why he made it: An all-sectional selection who is regarded as the top defensive player on the Tigers’ two consecutive Big 12 championship teams.
Season highlight: The player described by coach Randy Blackman as “one of the most complete players you will find on the field,” had four goals and two assists despite playing the defensive role of stopper.
A few of my favorite things: My mom’s food ... Miguel Fierro ... German ... “The Notebook” ... Brian Summers ... Maize Mexican Grill ... Honda Accord ... Cashier at Strawberry Fields.
Three things on my bucket list: Grow a beard, meet John Frusciante and learn karate.
St. Joseph-Ogden, senior, goalkeeper
Why he made it: A four-year starter and three-year team captain posted 11 shutouts as a senior (allowing 16 total goals); had 20 shutouts in 60 career matches. Helped Spartans set a season wins record, going 19-4-1 this fall.
Season highlight: An honorable mention all-sectional choice who set season (167) and single-match (26) record for saves, raising his school-record career total for saves to 460.
A few of my favorite things: Grilled cheese ... Mario Balotelli ... English ... “Step Brothers” ... Taylor Swift ... Red Lobster ... A classic ... Ohana Pools, Spas and Billiards.
Two things on my bucket list: Skydiving and traveling to Europe.
St. Thomas More, junior, forward
Why he made it: An all-sectional selection who set school single-match (five), season (33) and career (53) goal-scoring records. Previous single-match scoring record (four) was set by his brother, Zach, in 2010.
Season highlight: Led area in scoring with 33 goals despite being double- and triple-teamed and sparked Sabers to a conference championship and a season record for victories (19-4).
A few of my favorite things: STM’s french fries ... Lionel Messi ... “Sherlock Holmes” ... Monical’s Pizza ... Zach Shin ... Volunteer at the hospital.
Three things on my bucket list: To go around the world, to do God’s will and to make my parents happy.
Urbana Uni High, senior, midfielder
Why he made it: Illinois Coaches Association all-stater was a standout on Illineks’ Class 1A state runner-up team, continually showcasing his ability to win the ball out of the air while also demonstrating the ability to play the ball over distance.
Season highlight: All-Area first-team repeater and one of three 20-goal scorers for Uni this season, finished eighth in career scoring (44 goals) at the school.
A few of my favorite things: Steak ... Lionel Messi ... Calculus ... “Borat” ... Russell Peters ... Olive Garden ... Toyota Matrix ... Busboy.
Three things on my bucket list: Go to South America, road trip and watch Barcelona FC.
Urbana Uni High, senior, forward
Why he made it: All-sectional selection was area leader in assists with 24; also finished fourth in the area in scoring with 27 goals, raising his school-record career total to 99 goals. Second all time at Uni with 57 career assists.
Season highlight: All-Area first-team repeater and third-year team captain called by coach Phil Anders “a natural finisher in front of the goal who creates many chances for his teammates.”
A few of my favorite things: Dumplings ... Karim Benzema ... Physics ... “Dodgeball” ... Sacha Cohen ... Biaggi’s ... A Camry ... Research work at Beckman Institute.
Three things on my bucket list: Visit Real Madrid, go into space and get my own car.