A rough-and-tumble run through District 10-5A had playoff hopes go down to the wire for the McKinney North boys and girls soccer teams.
The Lady Bulldogs ultimately punched their ticket for the fifth consecutive postseason, while the boys finished just shy of a return to the playoffs after taking fifth place. But no matter the finish, all eight programs in 10-5A were afforded some time to shine on the conference’s annual all-district team.
That included 25 total selections between the North boys and girls, including a pair of superlative winners for the Bulldogs.
Both accolades went to seniors within the program, as senior Luke Malone was named 10-5A defensive MVP and senior JaeShaun Osborn earned utility player of the year honors.
Malone, who will continue his career into college at Southwestern, was “a defensive stalwart with a deft touch,” according to head coach CJ Shelton. Malone was instrumental in North’s strong close to the regular season, which included wins over playoff-bound Prosper Rock Hill and Wylie East, plus a draw with district champion The Colony.
Malone also made his presence felt on offense, recording three goals and two assists on the year.
Osborn, meanwhile, drew praise from Shelton as an aerial specialist and a speedy winger. That versatility came in handy throughout the season for the Schreiner commit, who scored seven goals and added two assists.
North scored a clean sweep of the utility player of the superlative, receiving the same honor on the girls side as senior Tasha Soto split the award with Lovejoy’s Cambry Patrick.
Soto was one of 12 Lady Bulldogs who received all-district commendation, including a trio of first-team selections for juniors Alexa Pratt and Karinna Purser, plus senior Cambori Watson, who went right from the pitch to the straightaway as she played a pivotal role in the Lady Bulldogs’ springtime success on the track.
Second-team selections for the North girls included senior Sofia Frederico, sophomore Emalee Jones, freshman Hailey James and freshman Morgan Paley. Honorable mentions were freshman Danica Ayana, senior Emma Poland, junior Natalie Zielke and sophomore Gaby Solis.
The Bulldogs weren’t far ahead of that mark with 13 all-district selections. Joining Malone and Osborn were first-team selections for junior Fernando Mena and seniors Hayes Malone and Landon Keating. North’s defense headlined the second team behind selections for junior Beck Adams and sophomore Luke Adams, plus in the midfield for junior Will Gammill.
Shelton divvied up honorable mentions to juniors Carlos Gonzalez, Caleb Gitt and Zyler Derrick, as well as sophomore Keaton Hood and senior Gavin Bruckner.
The Bulldogs had plenty of competition along the way, as 10-5A had six different schools receive all-district superlatives. That included three for The Colony, as senior Yosmar Reyes split offensive MVP honors, senior Elijah Elias earned midfielder of the year and Lee Weddell came away with coach of the year.
Lovejoy senior Michael Myers split the offensive MVP vote with Reyes, while fellow Leopard and senior Samuel Merrick was commended for his work in net as the district’s top goalkeeper.
East donned the 10-5A MVP with senior Elliott Janway receiving the league’s top superlative, while Sherman freshman Kai Alton and Prosper Rock Hill freshman Ashton Medina split newcomer of the year honors.
The girls side was a bit more lopsided with state-ranked East compiling six all-district superlatives. Those ranged from district MVP with senior Jayme Bailey to defensive MVP and senior Tristyn Gaida, midfielder of the year and freshman Amaya Dawkins, goalkeeper of the year and sophomore Breanna Wooten, newcomer of the year and freshman Bryn Geppert and coach of the year for Kody Christensen.
Lovejoy, meanwhile, wedged itself into the awards mix with an offensive MVP for freshman Taylor Person alongside Patrick’s utility player accolade.