The naming of a pair of sophomore soccer standouts to the East All-Region team unveiled a bright future for the Longhorn program.
Keith Williams was named to the All-East first team and Sam Grassel was tapped second team.
As second-year players, the two will return next season to form the foundation of what coach Chris Avakian hopes is a title contending team.
Also in the All-East voting, junior Caleb Harrison was chosen honorable mention, as was Wyatt McRae.
Trae Dunman was named to the second team. Both McRae and Dunman are seniors and have wrapped up their PHS soccer careers.
Williams and Dunman were also team captains during the past season.
Avakian lauded the five players, saying all were worthy of the laurels and big reasons for any successes the team enjoyed last season.
He lauded Williams, a middle defender, as “the backbone of the defense” and Grassel, the left forward, “as our leading scorer.”
Dunman, Avakian added, was in the program for four years and “was the offensive player who got everything started.”
Harris played right defensive back where he was one of most solid players in the region at his position.
“He never cried or whined, just went out and did his job,’ Avakian said.
McRae was the Longhorns’ designated all-around athlete, playing just about any position he was asked to.
“He was very dedicated,” Avakian said.
The selection of the All-East team, which was done by coaches, marks the end of a season in which the Longhorns came up just short of earning a berth into the state tournament.
Avakian said a win over Holbrook on Oct. 21, the final day of the regular season, would have sent PHS to the playoffs.
However, Payson fell 3-1 in the crucial showdown.