Fall Sports: Douglas places 7 on first-team All-Sierra League squads
The All-Sierra League postseason honors teams were announced over the weekend for soccer and volleyball.
Douglas pulled off an impressive showing with three first-teamers in both girls’ and boys’ soccer and the Sierra League champion volleyball team had two first-team honorees.
The football honors teams will be announced after the state championship game.
The boys’ soccer team, fresh off their state runner-up performance over the weekend, got midfielder of the year honors for Eddie Vega who had 16 assists and 14 goals on the year for Douglas.
Edgar Arceo, who tied for the team-lead in goals scored with Vega, was a first-team honoree at forward and junior Ross Gardner, who missed the latter part of the season with a torn ACL, was a first-teamer as well.
Gardner had five goals and three assists, while Arceo added nine assists to his impressive goal total.
Douglas had a number of fairly large snubs, including senior Jose Alcaraz only receiving second-team honors at defender and defender/midfielder Kyle Gardner received an honorable mention.
Alcaraz split time between goalkeeper and defense this year and probably would have been a lock for the first team had opposing coaches seen him at one position all year. Anyone who watched the regional and state playoffs in the last two weeks would agree. He scored four goals, had an assist and posted seven shutouts this season.
Kyle Gardner (two goals, two assists) was one of the more versatile players in the entire region and was also shuffled around due to injuries. Oscar Gonzalez was a second-team honoree as well.
On the girls’ side, Danyelle Heidt, Ally Freitas and Sage Lyons were first-team honorees. Goalkeeper Jamie Greer and midfielder/defender Lisa Christen were second-teamers, although either could have made a strong case for first-team honors.
Freitas led the Tigers with 16 goals this season while Heidt had seven goals. Christen tied for the team-leag in assists with five.
Receiving honorable mentions were freshman midfielder Alex Laing and defenders Samantha Ensminger and Mackenzie Cauley. Laing also had five assists and the four defenders honored helped Greer post 10 shutouts on the year.
In volleyball, Megan Mitchell, who had another strong case for player of the year, and Jourdan Burke received first-team honors. Reno’s Shelby Zaldain ended up winning the player of the year award.
Mitchell finished the year with 596 assists, 110 blocks, 65 digs, 51 kills and 34 aces. Burke led the Tigers with 226 kills.
Bridget Maestretti and Taryn Williams each earned second-team honors and Jessica Waggoner and Mary Lombino were honorable mentions.
Williams had 201 kills on the year, good enough for second on the team, and led Douglas with 36 assists. Maestretti finished with 75 kills, 113 blocks, 41 digs and 15 aces.
Waggoner led the team with 178 blocks to go with 121 kills and Lombino was one of the better defensive specialists in the region, coming up with 245 digs this year.
To say that the individual sports at Douglas High School accomplished something special this fall would be an understatement.
The Tigers swept the three female individual titles (girls’ golf, girls’ tennis and cross country) and the girls’ golf team won the regional and Sierra League titles and came in second at state.
Tiger senior Whitney Lindsey won the regional cross country title and took state runner-up honors at the championship meet and Tiger freshmen Bethany Wurster and Amelia Ritger won the golf and tennis titles, respectively.
Keagan Chipp and Robert Shawhan became the first male qualifiers for the state tennis tournament in more than 20 years, and Derrick Jenkins became the first male qualifier for the state cross country meet since 2001.
Coaches around the region recognized the Tigers’ individual achievements when they released the postseason honors for the individual sports.
Douglas girls’ golf coach Steve Gustafson was named the region’s coach of the year and Wurster earned region player of the year honors. She also garnered a first-team all-league mention as well.
Katie Gettman, Michele Nikkels and Heather Henderson were all named to the first-team all-region squad in golf while Gettman and Henderson were first-team all-league honorees and Nikkels and Shelby Louie were second-team all-leaguers.
Lindsey was named first-team all-region and was voted the cross country female athlete of the year for her efforts this season.
“I am so proud of her and all that she accomplished,” Douglas coach Keith Cole said. “Whit and I have been working together for three years now and it’s been a pleasure having her on the team and seeing her excel like this.”
Junior Taylor Biaggi earned second-team all-region honors and qualified for state for her third consecutive season, placing 10th there.
“Taylor had another outstanding race and a tremendous finish to the season,” Cole said. “She dropped a minute and 10 seconds from the previous week. I’ve never seen a drop like that before between the regional and state races.
“She confirmed this year that she is one of the top runners in the state and I am very excited to have her coming back for her senior season.”
One surprise came in the form of Ritger, who earned first-team all-region honors for her undefeated freshman year but not win player of the year honors.
This was seemingly by pattern in tennis as that award went to regional runner-up Hannah Llop, and it also went to the runner-up on the boys’ side, Jimmy Roberts.
The doubles’ players of the year awards also went to the regional runners-up. In all of the other individual fall sports, it went to the regional champion.
Seniors Lauren Seymour and Sarah Barnhill earned all-region honorable mentions for their play as a doubles team this year.
On the boys’ side, Chipp and Shawhan both earned all-region second team honors as a doubles team, and honorable mentions as singles players.
Shawhan made the all-state academic team for the third consecutive season, Andrew Solomon made it for the second time and Alex Sunderland was a first-time honoree.
Shawhan and Chipp shared the team MVP award this season while Aaron Wennhold was named the team’s most inspirational player and Tim Doran was named the most improved player.