Central Ohio High School Sports Awards: Super 12 boys soccer finalists announced

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Central Ohio High School Sports Awards

ThisWeek’s Super 12 boys soccer team features the top scorers and defenders in the area.

One of the honorees will be selected as the team’s Captain – our boys soccer Athlete of the Year. That honor will be announced during the Central Ohio High School Sports Awards online show at 7 p.m. July 8.

Finalists in all 10 fall sports should register at sportsawards.usatoday.com/centralohio. The finalists for boys golfgirls golfgirls tennisboys cross countrygirls cross country and field hockey previously were announced. Next week, we will announce the Super 12 for girls soccer.

Below is the Super 12 for boys soccer: 

Parker Cameron

Parker Cameron, Olentangy Liberty

A junior defender, Cameron was the only returning starter for a team that was the Division I state runner-up in 2019. 

He helped the Patriots post 12 shutouts and reach a district final, where they lost 1-0 to Pickerington North to finish 15-2-1. Liberty also captured the OCC-Central Division title. 

Although Cameron scored only three goals, all were game-winners on headers off free kicks or corners. 

“Parker was the sole junior captain of one of the best defenses in the state and the lone returning starter from last year’s team, so he was depended on heavily,” coach Ricky Konkolewski said. “He started 17 of our 18 games at center back and was voted the Central District Player of the Year as well as first-team all-state.”

Nate Erre

Nate Erre, Upper Arlington

Erre, a Wright State recruit, anchored the defense for a team that went 9-5-4 and advanced to its second consecutive Division I district final before losing 3-1 to eventual state runner-up New Albany.

UA allowed 32 goals and posted 18 shutouts over the past two seasons. Erre was first-team all-OCC-Central both years. As a senior, he was named league Player of the Year and second-team all-state.

“Nate’s leadership, drive, humility and positivity set the tone for another terrific season,” coach Kevin Donovan said. “When your best player is also your hardest-working and most respected player, the culture that we were able to create and the success we were able to have is a given. Credit to Nate for being that guy.”

Chris Guerra

Chris Guerra, Worthington Kilbourne

The senior forward led the Wolves in scoring the last four seasons and finished his career with 42 goals and 26 assists. This fall, Guerra tied for the team lead in goals with nine and had eight assists as Kilbourne finished 11-6-2.

Guerra shared OCC-Capital Player of the Year honors with Scioto’s Jayden Lunsford and was first-team all-district and all-state. 

The Wolves defeated Newark (6-0) and Dublin Scioto (2-0) in the postseason before falling 1-0 to UA in a Division I district semifinal. The win over Scioto avenged a 1-0 regular-season loss.

“Chris is the most talented goal scorer Kilbourne has had in its 29-year history,” coach Jon Sprunger said. “The goals he scored and the work rate on the field continued all the way up through this (past) season. He’ll be sorely missed next year.” 

Ryan Hawk

Ryan Hawk, Hartley

The Division II district Player of the Year, this senior had 13 goals and three assists against a schedule that included six Division I teams.

The Hawks lost 3-2 to Granville in overtime in a district final to finish 5-10-1. 

Also the kicker for the regional runner-up football team, Hawk was moved to forward after playing on the wing the previous three seasons. He was second-team all-league as a junior.

“He worked his butt off,” coach Justin Alexander said. “We did the most conditioning since I’ve been around the program this summer. Ryan was present each and every day and one of our top guys in long-distance running and sprints. Ryan is a strong technical player and strikes the ball extremely well.” 

Kameron Kist

Kameron Kist, New Albany

Kist, a midfielder, totaled 12 goals and 10 assists as a junior to help lead the Eagles to a Division I state runner-up finish.

Kist was the OCC-Ohio Player of the Year as New Albany won the league title, its second district title in five years and advanced to state for the first time since 2001 when it was in Division III. The Eagles finished 18-4-1, losing 4-1 to Cleveland St. Ignatius in the state final.

Kist also was named first-team all-district and second-team all-state.

“Kameron (was) the driving force for our success,” coach Johnny Ulry said. “He emerged as one of our top leaders. He led our teams in goals and assists and played the majority of the game. He was one of the top midfielders in the state.”

Jayden Lunsford

Jayden Lunsford, Dublin Scioto

Scioto coach Erik Ekis believes his junior forward and midfielder is one of the state's top players, and Lunsford backed up that assessment by being named second-team all-state in Division I.

Lunsford also shared OCC-Capital Player of the Year honors with Guerra and was first-team all-district. He totaled a team-high 16 goals and 14 assists and helped the Irish capture the league title at 5-0-2, ahead of runner-up Kilbourne (5-2).

Scioto finished 12-1-4 overall, losing 2-0 to Kilbourne in the postseason.

“He’s been amazing to coach,” Ekis said. “He’s not only a great player, but he also does things with the ball that a lot of players just sort of dream about doing. He’s humble, he’s a great teammate and he’s fun. He works super hard and is just an ideal team member.”

Cameron McIntosh

Cameron McIntosh, Thomas Worthington

McIntosh was the offensive engine for the Division I district champion Cardinals, as the senior forward totaled 15 goals and 13 assists. 

Thomas finished 12-7-2 overall and second (3-1-1) in the OCC-Cardinal behind Dublin Jerome (4-0-1), but the Cardinals defeated the Celtics 1-0 (4-3 shootout) in the district final. They lost 2-1 in a regional final to eventual state runner-up New Albany.

McIntosh was first-team all-league and all-district and second-team all-state.

“I believe that a crucial part of our season’s success came from (McIntosh’s) relentless pressure on players to perform at a higher level every time they stepped on the field,” coach David Fairchild said. “Cameron will be a tough player and personality to replace.” 

Uche Odemena

Uche Odemena, Pickerington North

Odemena, a junior forward, scored a team-leading 15 goals and added seven assists as the Panthers went 16-3-1 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Ohio while also winning their second Division I district title in three years.

Odemena, who had seven goals and six assists as a sophomore, led a unit that was aided by the defense posting a program-record 13 shutouts. Odemena was first-team all-league and second team all-state.

North fell to OCC-Ohio rival and eventual state runner-up New Albany 3-1 in a regional semifinal.

“Aside from his obvious athletic and soccer talent, Uche, a team captain, holds himself and his teammates accountable,” coach Darrin Monhollen said. “He responsibly leads by example and (by) communicating our vision for future success.”

Gabe O'Reilly

Gabe O’Reilly, St. Charles

The junior midfielder scored a team-high nine goals and added six assists for the Cardinals, who finished 13-4-2 overall after losing 3-1 to Thomas in a Division I district semifinal.

O’Reilly was second-team all-state and first-team all-district and all-CCL, as the Cardinals won their third consecutive league title by going 4-0.

“Gabe’s a guy who is technically sound, but the best thing is that he’s a leader and he’s influential,” coach Chris Vonau said. “He’s starting to understand that he doesn’t have to score every time he touches the ball in order for him to be dangerous.

“He’s the whole package for the center of the pitch. He’s a center-mid, but he can play anywhere. He’s so very flexible.”

Kyle Rinehart

Kyle Rinehart, Olentangy Berlin

The senior defender had seven goals and three assists for the Bears, who finished 15-3-2 overall after a 1-0 overtime loss to Thomas in a Division I regional semifinal.

Rinehart was second-team all-state, first-team all-district and the Player of the Year in the OCC-Cardinal. The Bears tied Hilliard Darby for third (2-2-1) in the league behind champion Jerome (4-0-1).

Berlin won the school’s first district title in any sport by defeating Westerville Central 2-1 after opening the postseason with victories over Reynoldsburg (2-0) and Westerville North (3-0).

“Kyle is driven,” coach Josh Diehl said. “No other player I’ve coached at the high school level has had his drive. He’s stayed hungry and humble. His attention to detail will prepare him in whatever he does.”

Andrew Shaffer

Andrew Shaffer, DeSales

Shaffer, a junior midfielder, scored a team-leading 20 goals and had two assists as the Stallions overcame a slow start to win their sixth Division II district championship in seven years and the 24th in program history.

Shaffer was named first-team all-CCL, all-district and all-state as DeSales went 10-9-1 overall and 3-1 in the league, losing 3-0 to then-undefeated and eventual state runner-up Tipp City Tippecanoe in a regional semifinal.

“He continues to demonstrate leadership on the field as he directs all tactical play from his midfield position,” coach Domenic Romanelli said. “Andrew’s attitude and leadership continue to make those he plays with better. He looks for ways to put his teammates in positions to be successful on the (field).”

Ethan Smythe

Ethan Smythe, Dublin Jerome

While earning the No. 1 seed for the Division I district tournament, Jerome produced a program-record 15 shutouts and allowed only eight goals all season as Smythe led the way as a defensive midfielder. 

A first-team all-league and all-district selection, the senior helped the Celtics finish 14-3-2. They fell 1-0 to Thomas in a district final, losing a shootout 4-3. 

“Ethan is a selfless and relentless worker,” coach Nate Maust said. “He trains really hard and always makes himself and those around him better. He’s naturally athletic and really worked to make his technique better each year. 

“We don’t have individual defensive stats like steals or takeaways, but Ethan easily had the most takeaways each game. He became a great leader on and off the field. He always had good training sessions.”

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