Soccer Coach, Three Players Advance To Aca All-Stars

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A trio of seniors and the Longhorn boys soccer coach have been selected to participate in the Arizona Coaches Association All-Star Soccer match.

The showdown is at 7 p.m. May 31, at Casa Grande High School.

Travis Sanders, Andrew Karlowski and Ryan Peters will represent the 2002 Longhorn team that tied Sedona for the 1A-3A fall state championship last season. Roger Wholly is slated to coach the 1A-3A fall league all-star team.

Wholly praised the three Payson players as extremely deserving of the all-star honors.

Peters, he said, "is the most opportunistic player I have met ... he scores goals at crucial times."

The coach characterized Sanders as "a player who is able to control the field of play with great vision and will unselfishly pass the ball to players with a higher percentage shot."

Karlowski, a defensive standout for the Longhorns, "is one of the best sweepers I've seen and can place a ball to the feet of his teammates 60 yards away," Wholly said.

The showdown

The fall league all-star team's opponent in the showdown will be an all-star team comprising players who participated in the 1A-3A winter season.

Bourgade Catholic High School captured the 1A-3A winter league championship.

In past years, loose-knit postseason soccer all-star games have been held infrequently. Several years ago when the PHS soccer team was under the tutelage of Alfonzo Munoz, an all-star game was held in Payson.

This is the first year, however, a high school all-star soccer game will be held as a part of the annual Arizona Coaches' Association convention.

In addition to the 1A-3 fall versus winter all-star soccer match, another will pit 4A-5A stars against one another in a North versus South format.

Girls all-star soccer games will be conducted but the Lady Longhorns do not have a representative.

ACA all-star competition during the convention also is conducted in cross country, football and basketball.

On the 1A-3A fall all-star team along with the three Payson players will be 15 other athletes representing Sedona, St. Johns, Pusch Ridge, Camp Verde, Chino Valley and Show Low. Most of the teams that participated in the fall league were small-town northern Arizona schools.

The 1A-3A winter league was made up of schools, many of them private, in the Valley.

Next season when Payson moves from the 3A ranks to 4A competition, both Longhorn soccer teams will compete in a winter league.

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