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HONORS: Consistent Aguirre claims Southwest boys award

One undeniable attribute set Saul Aguirre apart this season.

No matter how grand his individual performance from the previous season seemed, the Legacy boys soccer player knew there was always room for improvement.

“He’s one of those kids that has a good skill set,” Longhorns coach Jose Gomez said. “Out on the field he was always working on free kicks or whatever weakness that he felt he was struggling with. From his sophomore year to his senior year, he was my most consistent player. Consistent on the field and consistent off the field.”

Coaches recently selected the senior forward as the Southwest League’s Player of the Year. Aguirre had 14 goals and two assists for a Legacy squad that finished the season 11-5-1.

Aguirre was twice named the Northwest League Player of the Year before Legacy moved to the Southwest this fall.

“He brought that ‘it’ factor,” Gomez said. “At any moment, whether it was against one of the better teams or one that was on a lower level, he was out there competing.”

Legacy’s season ended with an agonizing 2-1 double-overtime loss to Sierra Vista in the Division I Sunset Region quarterfinals. Aguirre netted the Longhorns’ lone goal.

Legacy had won the Class 4A state championship the previous two seasons.

“At any moment, he can put it in the back of the net,” Gomez said. “The left foot, the right foot, facing players, it’s a broad skill set. This year his production dropped a little bit, but it was a totally different dynamic around him.”

Gomez said Aguirre’s lead-by-example attitude will be difficult to replace.

“He’s a hard-working kid that will do what it takes to be better,” Gomez said. “The other kids see him working hard, and they want to work harder. When he’s on the field, he has a presence about him.”

Bishop Gorman’s Thomas Olsen was the Southwest’s Goalkeeper of the Year, and Cimarron-Memorial’s Mark Bailey was named Coach of the Year.

In the Northwest League, Durango’s Cristoval Magana took Player of the Year honors. Palo Verde’s Nishant Yadav was the Goalkeeper of the Year, and the Panthers’ Kevin Hagood was the Coach of the Year.

In the Northeast League, Canyon Springs’ Jonathan Martinez was the Player of the Year, and the Pioneers’ Dan Myers was named Coach of the Year. Bryant Peralta of Green Valley earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors.

Liberty swept the Southeast League’s top honors with Danny Musovski earning Player of the Year, Chris Bradford taking Goalkeeper of the Year honors, and Mike Eshragh being named Coach of the Year.

Green Valley swept the Northeast League girls honors as Nicole Westover earned Player of the Year, teammate Kiyana Lopez was the Goalkeeper of the Year, and Roy Snyder nabbed Coach of the Year honors.

Coronado took all of the Southeast League girls top honors with Breanna McCallum grabbing Player of the Year honors, teammate Melanie Frank securing Goalkeeper of the Year accolades, and Dana Neel being named Coach of the Year.

In the Southwest League girls honors, Bonanza’s Ashley Alonzo was the Player of the Year, and the Bengals’ Erin Kelly was named Coach of the Year. Gorman’s Jessica Anaya was the Goalkeeper of the Year.

In the Northwest League girls honors, Shadow Ridge’s Taylor Lopez was the Player of the Year, and the Mustangs’ Jamie Gibo was named Coach of the Year. Durango’s Emily Casale was the Goalkeeper of the Year.

Division I-A honors also were announced.

Western’s Luis Ponce was the boys All-Southern Region Most Valuable Player, and Clark’s Juan Chavez took region Coach of the Year honors. Both also earned the awards in the Sunset League.

Tech’s Rafael Munoz was the Sunrise League MVP, and the Roadrunners’ Josh Jones earned Sunrise Coach of the Year honors.

Pahrump Valley’s Sydney Sladey earned girls MVP honors in both the region and Sunset League, and Faith Lutheran’s Steve Morrill was named Sunset Coach of the Year.

Tech’s Alex Guzman earned Sunrise MVP accolades, and Virgin Valley’s Scott Trimming took the coaching honor.

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