by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Conference #43 champion Essex led the all-conference soccer team with five first team selections and claimed both the player of the year and coach of the year honors.
Midfielder Alden McKinley was chosen player of the year and took a first team spot. Andrew Ashu was selected by peers as coach of the year.
Conference top-seed Essex was upset in the tournament championship last Friday by Rappahannock, 2-0.
Essex High forward Tristan Gross, midfielder Waled Almareh, defenders Tri Blanks and Alberto Villeda and goalkeper Ray Rector also made the first team.
Lancaster, eliminated in the conference quarterfinal, placed two on the first team, senior forward Prabesh Bhandari and senior defender Sheridan Ford.
Lancaster also named two to the conference second team, junior goalkeeper Nathan Spiers and sophomore midfielder/defender Kendall Barnhardt.
Northumberland placed two on the first team, forward Austin Evans and defender Connor Woolard and five on the second, Jesus Acosta, Harry Lee, Karas Smith, Nick Tallent and Luis Verdugo.
Others named to the conference first team were Rappahannock High (Richmond County) forwards Rhett Hillman and JP Maupin, midfielders Ethan White and Waled Almareh and defender Chris Fols, and Rappahannock County midfielder Jack Massie.
The second team included Rappahannock High’s (Richmond County) Josh Stanley, Lawrence Reed, Gunner Leming, James Inthichack, Ben Martinez and Maupin; Rappahannock County’s Michael Reid and Jonathan Jenkins, and Essex High’s Darius Jones.