Kyle Culbertson graduated from Olentangy High School early and enrolled at the University of Akron to get a head start on his collegiate soccer career with the defending NCAA Division I champion.

Kyle Culbertson graduated from Olentangy High School early and enrolled at the University of Akron to get a head start on his collegiate soccer career with the defending NCAA Division I champion.

However, before he left, the Braves midfielder added one more accolade to his impressive rsum. Culbertson became the first Olentangy player named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-America team.

"It's a really nice honor considering (Akron teammate) Chad Barson and (University of Louis-ville forward) Aaron Horton both played here," Culbertson said. "I look up to those guys a lot."

Culbertson was one of nine Ohioans, including two players from the Columbus area, named to the team. Wil Trapp, a midfielder from Gahanna, was named National Player of the Year.

Culbertson was a first-team all-state selection in Division II as well as the district and OCC-Cardinal Division's Player of the Year. He also was selected to the ThisWeek Super 12 first team after helping to lead the Braves to a 12-4-3 record last season and their second league title. They lost to DeSales 2-1 in a district final.

Culbertson had 22 goals and 12 assists last season. In the regular season, he scored winning goals against Marysville, Dublin Scioto and Hartley, and he had the tying goals against DeSales and Division III state runner-up Worthington Christian.

"I was a little bit surprised," Culbertson said of the All-America selection. "I was just happy to be acknowledged with that kind of honor."

Braves coach Dave Sebek wasn't surprised.

"Kyle is very dedicated," Sebek said. "Any time he was on the field, he was there to work. That drive and motivation got him to where he is today."