Girls player of the year
Amanda Hayes, So., Mitchell
Why we picked her: Hayes was the top offensive threat on the North Suncoast’s best team in a decade. She scored four goals in a season-opening win over Hudson and didn’t slow down. Hayes finished with a team-best 33 goals and added nine assists. She was an integral part of Mitchell’s deepest playoff run and a 26-1-1 record. After two previous trips to the region finals, the Mustangs finally broke through and made it to the final four — winning their first three playoff games by a combined score of 13-0 before falling to Ponte Vedra in the state semifinals. “It was a journey,” Hayes said. “We pushed ourselves so much. We were so determined to get to the finish line. Even though we didn’t win in the semifinal state game, we accomplished so much. We felt like we just did it.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Hayes was steady in the regular season but found another gear in the playoffs. From a win over Gulf in the district semifinals through a victory over Nature Coast in the region final, she scored in every contest, notching seven goals and two assists. “Amanda went through and pretty much scored every game,” Mustangs coach Karl Kukec said. “She actually picked it up, and she was there when it really counted.”
Did you know? Hayes enjoys doing anything outdoors, from wakeboarding to playing football or basketball. She also works as a sandwich artist at Subway.
Future plans: As the youngest child and the only girl, Hayes was subjected to games of cops and robbers growing up. “I’m the only girl in the family,” Hayes said, “so that’s what we did.” Those games and a desire to help others led to an interest in law enforcement and, currently, the plan of becoming a police officer. Hayes is already receiving interest from college recruiters, even though she still has two years of high school left, and hopes to attend a four-year college.
F AJ Blount, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: USF signee paced the Bulls with 64 points (22 goals, 20 assists) to help her team advance to the Class 4A region semifinals.
F Silvana Paonessa, Sr., Nature Coast: Led the Sharks to the Class 3A region final with 30 goals, including six in the district tournament.
F Sammie Betters, Fr., Springstead: Took Eagles to the playoffs while ranking among the North Suncoast’s leaders with 46 goals and 23 assists.
F Taylor Meek, Jr., Mitchell: Mustangs’ other top scoring threat finished with 30 goals and seven assists. She notched a hat trick in the region final against Nature Coast.
MF Danielle Gottwik, Jr., Mitchell: UConn commit didn’t have eye-popping stats (nine goals, six assists) but was undoubtedly one of the top overall players on the North Suncoast’s top teams.
MF Kendra Secrest, Sr., River Ridge: Repeat first-team selection finished her final high school season with 18 goals and six assists.
MF Baylor Cherry, Jr., Mitchell: Versatile player led the Mustangs with 17 assists.
MF Anne Marie Cypriano, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: All-conference pick scored one of her eight goals in a playoff win over Lakeland Kathleen.
D Danielle Misener, Sr., Mitchell: Captained a defense that allowed eight goals all season and only two in 2013.
D Briana Baugher, Sr., Nature Coast: Earned FACA all-star honors for a playoff team that posted 18 shutouts.
D Lacy Nasello, Fr., Land O’Lakes: Helped take the Gators to the region semifinals. Strong defender also tallied 18 points.
GK Dayton Wetherby, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Navy recruit and U-20 Panamanian national team player allowed only 10 goals all season while posting 14 shutouts and making 88 saves.
Coach of the year
Karl Kukec, Mitchell. The veteran Mustangs coach had taken his team to the region final twice before and finally broke through with a run to the final four this winter. Mitchell rolled through an undefeated regular season before finally losing to Ponte Vedra in the Class 3A state semifinals.
F Berlin Waters, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
F Emily Myers, Sr., Nature Coast
F Brooke McKillen, Sr., Hudson
MF Brooke Silvest, Jr., Land O’Lakes
MF Darien Davis, So., River Ridge
MF Kelsey Leach, So., River Ridge
D Kayla Montealegre, Sr., Springstead
D Baylee Lewandowski, Jr., River Ridge
D Kelsey Bare, Sr., Wesley Chapel
D Sarah Staley, Sr., Hudson
D Hannah Eder, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
GK Erica Disbrow, Jr., Mitchell
Anclote: Moriah Sipiczky; Bishop McLaughlin: Rickelle Vetzel; Fivay: Emily Franco, Katy Hurst, Leah Neck; Gulf: Catie Greene, Brianna Rossi; Hernando: Summer Solovitch; Hudson: Dominique Cirnigliaro, Caroline Dimonda; Land O’Lakes: Catherine Gray, Kameryn Kailimai, Holly Nasello, Maci Galan, Ariana Bailey, Raquel Villareal; Mitchell: Balea Schumacher, Leslie Fallon, Antonia Lowden, Casey Bruno; Nature Coast: Victoria Wall, Hailey LaLande, Ashley Chevalier, Samantha Oliveira; Pasco: Ashton Brock; Ridgewood: Ceirra Rasmussen; River Ridge: Brittany O’Leary, Reagan Secrest; Springstead: Emma Betters, Nicole Morolla, Haleigh McDuff; Sunlake: Maya Kamat, Cassidy Place, Emily Higgins, Carly Hill, Sarah Sprague; Wiregrass Ranch: Vanessa Jordan, Chloe Lipovetsky, Lauren Gordon, Taylor Muzik; Zephyrhills: Lindsey Knowlton
Boys player of the year
Connor Gilboy, Sr., Sunlake
Why we picked him: Gilboy was an easy choice after recording one of the most prolific seasons in the country and making Pasco County history. His 60 goals are believed to be the most scored in the nation this school year. That mark shattered the county record of 55, set by Land O’Lakes’ Justin Geisler in 2000. Gilboy also finished with 27 assists for a whopping 147 points. “I’m so happy I could have a senior year like that,” he said. “Ever since my freshman year, I always wanted to be the kid I saw in the paper. The fact that I got it is just awesome.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Aside from his personal accolades, Gilboy helped his Seahawks have their best season. They rolled through an unbeaten regular season to conference, district and region championships before falling to Ponte Vedra in the Class 3A state semifinals. That was the deepest run in the program’s young history. “Out of all four years, it was by far the best experience,” Gilboy said.
Did you know? Soccer wasn’t the first sport his parents wanted him to try. Gilboy’s father is Australian, and he tried to coax him into surfing, which Gilboy still enjoys. But Pasco County was better suited for soccer, which became one of his passions. He and his friends also run a car detailing service, CaRelief, which donates proceeds to local soccer clubs.
Future plans: Despite a standout prep soccer career, Gilboy’s immediate future lies in football. He turned down soccer recruiters from Stanford, Wake Forest and others to kick at Florida as a preferred walk-on. “I’ll never say goodbye to soccer,” said Gilboy, who didn’t begin playing football until last spring. He plans to study petroleum engineering.
F Connor Spencer, So., Sunlake: The Seahawks’ other standout scorer ranked among the country’s leaders with 40 goals and 37 assists.
F Frankie Fontan, Jr., Springstead: Hernando County’s points leader nearly took the Eagles back to the playoffs in a rebuilding season.
F Christian Del Grande, So., River Ridge: Helped pilot the Royal Knights to upset victories over Gulf and Mitchell and the Class 3A, District 8 championship.
MF Tyler Brown, Jr., Gulf: Quietly scored 27 goals and racked up 15 assists for a team that spent most of the year as one of the district’s top contenders.
MF Sean Young, Sr., Land O’Lakes: The UNF recruit was the go-to scorer (28 goals) on a rebuilding Land O’Lakes team. He’s the county’s only player to sign a D-I soccer scholarship this year.
MF Nathaniel Hayes, Jr., Mitchell: Led the Mustangs to the postseason with a team-high 14 goals, to go with 12 assists.
MF Bryce Wilson, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Compiled one of Pasco County’s top seasons (17 goals, 33 assists) on a 15-win team.
MF Michael Mazza, Jr., Pasco: Played well (one goal, two assists) in a district semifinal upset win over Land O’Lakes to get the Pirates back to the playoffs. Finished with 19 goals.
D Dillon Martin, Sr., Mitchell: Mustangs’ top defender also chipped in two goals and six assists for district runnerup.
D Austin Goble, Jr., Sunlake: Focal part of a stingy Seahawk defense that allowed multiple goals in only four games this winter.
D Matthew Bradshaw, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: One of the leaders of one of Pasco County’s top defensive units. Added four goals and five assists.
GK Daniel Hrenko, Fr., Sunlake: Ranked near the top of the state with 21 shutouts. Allowed only 14 goals in 31 games for the Class 3A state semifinalists.
Coach of the year
Sam Koleduk, Sunlake. Although Mike McHugh deserves plenty of praise for taking River Ridge to a district title, the nod goes to Koleduk. His Seahawks compiled one of the best runs in Pasco County history: a 30-1 record and a trip to the state semifinals. Koleduk will be tested again next winter. His team graduates Gilboy but returns almost everyone else.
F Frank Villaizan, Sr., Nature Coast
F Mico Petrovich, Jr., Mitchell
F Nick Hopkins, Sr., Hernando
MF Chris Wilkinson, So., Sunlake
MF Robert Castillo, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
MF Jose Flores, Sr., Pasco
MF Lewis Pepper, Sr., Mitchell
MF Nick Schroder, Jr., River Ridge
D Jubin Thomas, Jr., Springstead
D Aaron Aucoin, Jr., Sunlake
D Alex Hernandez, Jr., Mitchell
GK Cody Truman, Sr., Weeki Wachee
Anclote: Shaquille Valentin; Bishop McLaughlin: Alex Stafford; Central: Eric Enders; Fivay: Ray Vivino, Franny Banos, Curtis Chapman; Gulf: Nick Osterer, Michael O’Donnell; Hernando Christian: Kasey Springer; Land O’Lakes: Glenn Johnson, Pat Lawson, Jordan Dollbaum, Mike Moran, Stavi Garcia; Mitchell: Nick Bartkus, Davis Byrkit; Nature Coast: Kyle Draper, Alec Perkins, Jared Weeks; Pasco: Eduardo Montes, Justin Smith, Daniel Navarro, Noe Esqueda; Ridgewood: Alex Dziedzic; River Ridge: Justin DaSilva, Tyler Manaras, Brandon Abbott, Christos Kostogiannes, Jason Navas; Springstead: Matt McDuff, Ricky Toth, Harry Bennett; Sunlake: Ryan Norberg, Derek Noble, Cobi Shirmohammad; Weeki Wachee: Andrew Jensen, Mike Radike; Wesley Chapel: Andrew Lao; Wiregrass Ranch: Aaron Shimer, Andres Hernandez, Sean Sourk, Jacob Spana; Zephyrhills: Dominic Viera