While many of the metro area’s soccer stars already are into their club season, today the Journal reveals its annual All-Metro teams from the 2016 prep season.
BOYS: It will be a chore for Albuquerque Academy coach Laney Kolek to replace the Touche brothers, Charles and Alex, who headline our first team.
Charles’ season culminated with his appearance last weekend in the High School All-American Game in North Carolina. He was the Chargers’ leading goal scorer and 5A’s leading goal scorer (35) as Academy won its second straight 5A state title last month. The senior forward was probably New Mexico’s top individual player during the fall.
Our three first-team forwards are an interesting mix. In addition to Charles Touche, there is Valley sophomore Johnny Baros (second in 6A in goals with 21), who enjoyed a brilliant season, and Bosque School senior Zech Meddleton, who recently received a Division I offer to play for Utah Valley University.
Alex Touche heads up our midfield, joined by Volcano Vista standout Larsen Rogers, Angel Madera of 6A state runner-up Albuquerque High and Hope Christian junior Edward Oropesa.
The 6A champ La Cueva has two first-team selections – goalkeeper Anthony Muñoz, who had 14 shutouts, and defender Jake Sanchez, the 6A player of the year. Sanchez is joined on the back line by Sandia’s Clint Smith and Volcano Vista’s Andres Jurado.
GIRLS: St. Pius’ Tatiana Limon leaves as her school’s all-time leading goal and point scorer. The future New Mexico State Aggie is once again on my All-Metro list. Earlier this week, the senior forward was selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s High School All-American Team.
Limon also was a member of the West Region squad, as was Cibola junior Lexi Baca, who is one of three first-team forwards. Baca is the two-time 6A player of the year and has helped the Cougars win back-to-back state championships.
Rio Rancho’s Leilani Baker is the third first-team forward.
Sandia Prep standout Calista Cordero, part of a super special Sundevil side last season, leads our quartet of midfielders. Cibola’s Jasmine Marwan is also here, with La Cueva’s Kate Browning and Volcano Vista’s Brianna Martinez.
Skylar Carson, the anchor on a strong back line for Class 5A state champion Albuquerque Academy, comprises one-third of our first-team defense. The others are St. Pius’ Victoria Sanchez and La Cueva’s Delaney Markham.
La Cueva junior Kat Robinson is between the posts on the first team.
I hope, as always, that I have done our top players justice. With only 22 slots, there is never room enough for everyone.
NOTE: The Journal’s All-Metro volleyball teams will be announced soon, and our All-Metro football teams are tentatively slated for publication next Sunday, Dec. 18.