All-Area Boys’ Soccer

All-Area Boys’ Soccer: Nation Ford’s Huddy is Player of the Year

bmccormick@heraldonline.comJune 25, 2013 

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    PLAYER OF THE YEAR

    Austin Huddy, Nation Ford

    COACH OF THE YEAR

    Adam Cole, Indian Land

    FIRST TEAM

    Austin Huddy, Nation Ford- Huddy scored 20 goals and added 10 assists and continually came up with the goods in the clutch for the Falcons. The all-region and all-state senior forward also was chosen to South Carolina’s Clash of the Carolinas roster and will play soccer for Queens University this fall.

    David Parks, Nation Ford- All-region senior scored 10 goals out of the back for the Falcons while helping marshal one of the better defenses around.

    Austin Newman, Northwestern- A speedy, relentless senior forward, he scored 13 goals and assisted on three for the Trojans. He was named Region III 4A Player of the Year and was an all-state and a North-South Classic selection.

    Patrick Raad, Northwestern- All-region and North-South Classic selection scored a goal and assisted on five more. The senior left back was dangerous on free kicks and wore the captain’s armband for the Trojans.

    Julian Welborn, Northwestern- All-region junior midfielder/forward scored 13 goals and assisted on six. Welborn was one of the Trojans’ offensive driving forces.

    Erwin Salazar, Northwestern- All-region as a sophomore, Salazar scored 11 goals and assisted on five more from his usual left wing spot.

    Josh Reid, South Pointe- Tricky junior winger was an all-region selection.

    Cody Rebh, South Pointe- All-region and Clash of the Carolinas selection. Rebh will play at Spartanburg Methodist next season.

    Charles Coulson, Rock Hill- Imposing senior center forward scored 25 goals with seven assists en route to all-region honors. Coulson also was picked for the Clash of the Carolinas squad.

    Pablo Arzaluz, Rock Hill- A four-year captain for the Bearcats, Arzaluz scored eight goals and assisted on 12 while earning all-region, all-state and a North-South Classic selection as a senior midfielder.

    Jason Hirsch, Fort Mill- Senior midfielder was named all-region, all-state and also earned a Clash of the Carolinas roster spot. Hirsch scored 10 goals and had five assists this season.

    Mason Jackson, Fort Mill- Senior all-region goalie had a 0.77 goals-against average and kept 10 clean sheets between the pipes.

    David Allmendinger, Fort Mill- All-region senior defender scored three goals and helped Fort Mill prevent many more.

    Anthony Cutrone, Indian Land- Class AA all-state honoree and senior forward bagged more than 25 goals this season as part of the Warriors’ dynamite forward pairing with Nick Retter.

    Nick Retter, Indian Land- Senior striker was a North-South Classic and Class AA all-state selection while scoring almost 30 goals for Adam Cole’s Indian Land side.

    SECOND TEAM

    Wade Wilson, Lewisville

    Tyler Snincak, Nation Ford

    Wyatt Knox, Nation Ford

    Will Medlock, Indian Land

    Matt Kennedy, Chester

    Omayyad White, Chester

    Mason Strohl, Fort Mill

    Pierce Sutton, Clover

    Bailey Bottini, Clover

    Rong Taing, Rock Hill

    Buddy Anderson, York

    Cody Jones, Northwestern

    Manny Lozano, Northwestern

    Connor Moore, Northwestern

    Alan Taylerson, Northwestern

Undoubtedly, Austin Huddy’s Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) teammates were happy to be playing alongside the Nation Ford senior instead of against him last week at the Southern Regionals club soccer championships in Oklahoma.

The last time they were playing against each other, Huddy scored a pair of first-half goals in a 3-2 upset win against J.L. Mann, a squad filled with CESA players and the 2012 Class AAAA state champions. Huddy’s finest individual moments during an outstanding senior campaign that saw him score 20 goals and assist 10 more, helped earn him the Herald’s 2013 All-Area Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year award.

“It feels great,” Huddy said. “It’s one of the best regions and to be named player of the year in this region, it’s a huge honor.”

“He came out and played for a purpose this year,” said Elton Ramey, coach at Nation Ford. “He played for me in the past; he didn’t have that same kind of drive that he did this year. And because of that, it’s like he willed us to win games.”

Ramey attributed that drive to a senior sense of urgency. Huddy, an all-state selection who will play college soccer this fall at Charlotte’s Queens University, was a catalyst in Nation Ford’s improbable playoff run that took them to the Upper State championship. There, the school that had never won a postseason boys’ soccer game before this spring finally succumbed to Irmo, but not before ousting J.L. Mann in the round prior.

“I think a lot of the teams we played really underestimated us. Especially J.L. Mann,” said Huddy. “They came in very confident as the reigning state champs. I think being the underdog, we used that to our advantage in the playoffs.”

The Falcons also had a talisman to lead the way. Huddy did so through his play and his actions.

“In a way, he helped our team be more relaxed because he was so calm,” Ramey said. “It’s something that he’s been doing the last couple of years in club, so it was something he was able to translate into success on the soccer field for the school.”

During the game in Greenville, Huddy stunned his club soccer teammates with a quick-fire pair of goals that put the Falcons in control of the third-round fixture.

“That was by far my favorite game,” he said. “I’m friends with most of those guys and to score two goals so quickly and get my team a win was just amazing.”

Both goals resulted from long punts from Nation Ford keeper Josh Brukner, which Huddy controlled while holding off J.L. Mann defenders on his own. The finishes were exquisite, two memories soldered into Huddy’s mental hard drive for many years to come. They also made for an interesting next meeting with his CESA teammates.

“They weren’t too happy about it,” he said.

Huddy plays on the backline for CESA, meaning the defenders he was bullying in the Falcons’ win were his co-defenders in club ball.

“For him to outplay them in a position he truly hadn’t played in a couple of years, was amazing,” said Ramey.

At regionals this past weekend, CESA had to win Sunday to stay alive in the tournament. Ramey said that a spate of injuries forced CESA to push Huddy up front. No doubt he had some teammates who would vouch for his effectiveness. Their belief would have been confirmed when Huddy duly scored twice in a 3-2 win against North Carolina’s HFC Red that kept CESA’s shot at qualifying for nationals alive.

“He hasn’t stopped doing what he was doing for me,” Ramey said Monday, chuckling.

Bret McCormick •  329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T

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