Player of the Year: F Josh Page, Sr., East Lake
Why we picked him: Page was a bit of a mystery last season. He transferred to East Lake from Pennsylvania and started scoring goals in droves. This season, opponents knew all about him …and still couldn’t stop him. Page led the Eagles with 30 goals despite missing two weeks with a groin injury. For his two-year East Lake career, Page tallied 96 goals. “I never let him score more than three goals in a game and now I kind of regret it,” coach Alex Stenson said. “He got so close to 100. What he has done the last two years is remarkable, really.” Page played a big role in East Lake advancing to the Class 5A state semifinal. He said goals aren’t the only thing he enjoys about playing soccer. “Everyone loves to score, no doubt,” Page said. “It’s just the excitement of it. And I’m proud that I got close to 100 goals. But it’s really not all about that. It’s just as exciting passing to a teammate to score.” Stenson said as good as Page was on the field, he was just as impressive off it. “Let me tell you something about Josh,” Stenson said. “We had a freshman on the team who really just wanted to be around the guys. He wasn’t as talented but he worked very hard, so I made him a manager. Josh took him under his wing. He would take him aside and try to teach him things about the game. He didn’t have to do that, but that’s the kind of person Josh is.”
Most impressive accomplishment: East Lake finally got past the region finals, defeating Newsome 1-0. For Page, being in a state tournament was a first. “Since my freshman year I’ve never been able to get past the regionals,” he said. “To get to the state tournament exceeded my expectations. Even though it was a heartbreaker (penalty kicks loss to Boca Raton), it was nice just to get there.”
Did you know? Page is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “Faith is everything to me.” Page said. “I was raised in a Christian household. It has always been a part of me.”
What’s next? Page said it isn’t official, but he expects to play college soccer at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Coach of the year
Alex Stenson, East Lake: Stenson had a team loaded with talent that suffered its fair share of injuries throughout the season. By the playoffs, the Eagles were playing without five top players yet still advanced to the state tournament. East Lake was one penalty kick from advancing to the state final.
F Oswald Francis, Jr., St. Petersburg: Had 19 goals and missed more than a week with a knee injury. Can take over a game, as he did with three second-half goals against Seminole.
F Caulin Donaldson, Sr., Osceola: Warriors’ top goal scorer with 21 in 18 games played; also had five assists to lead Osceola to region play.
F Shane Butler, Sr., Seminole: One of those players who has a knack for scoring goals, Butler had 21 and eight assists.
F Andrew Goodman, Sr., Seminole: Scored seven goals and added three assists; had a big goal against Northeast in the district semifinal that assured the Warhawks a region berth.
MF Stevie Rudderham, Jr., Northeast: Had 20 goals and 10 assists to help lead the Vikings to region play.
MF Liam Murphy, Sr., Seminole: Scored 12 goals and had seven assists as one of the Warhawks’ most consistent players.
MF Pierre Goris, Jr., East Lake: An academy player last season, Goris played 21 games for the Eagles and scored nine goals.
MF Semmes Bruce, Sr., St. Petersburg: A tremendous ball handler who can defend, assist or score goals.
D Reid Hammil, Sr., Indian Rocks Christian: The four-year starter was the glue on defense. The senior all-star selection hopes to play college soccer next season.
D Blake Bryant, Jr., St. Petersburg: A tenacious defender who also had the ability to push up field; had some big stops and big goals this season.
D Daniel Mahler, Sr., East Lake: Stenson says Mahler “reads the game so well.” As the central defender, Mahler controlled the back for a very stingy East Lake defense.
GK Jeff Richmond, Sr., East Lake: The Eagles were loaded at goalkeeper, but Richmond played the most. He allowed fewer than a goal per game and was a member of the county senior all-star team.
F Jake Moore, Jr. St. Petersburg
F Jake Luff, Sr., Osceola
F Tanner Young, Jr., East Lake
MF Donovan Price, Sr., Clearwater
MF Jacob Carson, Sr., Palm Harbor University
MF Kalju Jake Nekvasil, So., Shorecrest
MF Dylan Jones, Sr., Northeast
D Juan Baltazar, So., Northeast
D Tyler Kaminski, Sr., Palm Harbor University
D Parker Bryant, So., St. Petersburg
D Max Guy, Sr., East Lake
GK Muamer Kurtovic, Sr., Clearwater
Calvary Christian: Gage Plentovich; Clearwater: Akeem Wynter; Clearwater Central Catholic: Alex Thompson; Countryside: Sebastian Koleczek, Victor Trejo, David Godinez, Ethan Singer, Jonathan Hansen, Nick Sprague; Dunedin: Weston Wiggs; East Lake: Alex Carbonelli, George Tarantino, Nate Himes, Dino Papadopoulos; Indian Rocks Christian: Shane Haas, Riley Hammil, Matt Witsey, Tyler Margan; Northeast: Bryan Combs, Edis Maric; Osceola: Taylor Abulone; Palm Harbor University: Kieran McGeough, Frank Trump, Eduard Huapaya, Chase Mallory; St. Petersburg: Martin Gaganelov, Sam Dolson; St. Petersburg Catholic: Emilio Ycaza, Manny Carmona; Seminole: Liam Rafferty, Thomas Whiting, Paul Gyorkos, Nick Portillo, Garrett Connell, Jordan Burbano, Jonathan Martins; Shorecrest: Robert Zolper, Chris Lovesky; Tarpon Springs: Ali Tajik, Diogo Rodrigues, Vasili Makryllos