The 2021 season was one to remember for the Celina boys and girls soccer teams — two programs that submitted their deepest playoff runs in program history after advancing to the Class 4A state semifinals.
The Bobcats and Lady Bobcats prefaced their momentous postseasons with a pair of second-place finishes in District 11-4A. In addition to raking in their share of accolades during the playoffs, both sides had heavy representation on the conference’s all-district teams.
That included five superlative honors earned by the Celina boys. Senior Tony Cantoran, fresh off leading the Bobcats in scoring with 34 goals and 12 assists, split district MVP honors. His running mate, senior Marcos Arana, garnered a share of the offensive player of the year award after posting 32 goals and seven assists during his final high school campaign.
Celina was strong in the midfield as well. Senior Edson Torres assured as much with three goals and three assists on his way to co-midfield player of the year honors.
Freshman Hank Melton was also recognized for a banner debut season with the Bobcats. He scored five goals and assisted on 11 others en route to co-newcomer of the year commendation.
Meanwhile, junior Nathan Yost solidified the last line of Celina’s defense with some strong work in goal. Contributing to eight shutouts in net, Yost was named 11-4A’s goalkeeper of the year.
On the girls side, the Lady Bobcats had a historic year on multiple fronts. Among the team’s achievements was a national-record 243 goals scored, including a state-record 114 from junior Taylor Zdrojewski. She added 17 assists as well, earning 11-4A co-MVP honors for her efforts.
Plenty of those goals were set up with the help of senior Ashlyn Vana, who totaled 51 assists to go along with 18 goals of her own, as she was named the district’s midfielder of the year.
First-team selections for the Celina boys went to sophomore Josten Watkins, senior Jacob Woodrum, senior Trent Hamblin and freshman Ty Munier. Watkins was the only other Bobcat in double figures with 12 goals and five assists, while Hamblin chipped in two goals and three assists, and Munier added four goals and four assists.
Celina landed four other student-athletes on the second team in sophomore Nik Hamblin, freshman Shane Ginocchio, freshman Chase Laster and freshman Andy Alla. Hamblin chipped in three assists, and Alla logged one goal and three assists.
Honorable mentions went to sophomores Ryan Mikesh (two goals, one assist) and Harper Halloway (two assists).
The Lady Bobcats were paced by a quartet of first-teamers with senior Emma Short, sophomore Mia Norman, sophomore Lexi Tuite and sophomore Madi Vana all recognized. Short stuffed the stat sheet with 34 goals and 27 assists, Norman logged 21 goals and 10 assists, Tuite chipped in 37 goals and 25 assists, and Madi Vana managed eight goals and 12 assists.
Freshman Brookelyn Babb, freshman Makenna Brantley, senior Grace Griffis and sophomore Hannah Buller all earned spots on the second team. Buller anchored the Lady Bobcats in goal to the tune of just .755 goals allowed, while Babb chipped in two goals and three assists, Brantley assisted on eight goals and Griffis scored a pair.
Honorable mentions went to senior Jamie Ownby (two goals, one assist), sophomore Sara Ortiz (one goal, one assist), sophomore Madison Hagenbrock and sophomore Ashland Stewart (one goal, one assist).