2010-11 ALL-AREA SOCCER: Boys Top 10

By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal

About these All-Area teams
The Daily Journal has revamped its All-Area team format for the 2010-11 high school sports season.
The Journal will select 10 players – regardless of position or classification they compete in – from its coverage area deemed to have had the best seasons in their respective sports.
With 60 some high schools in its coverage area, the Daily Journal’s staff and correspondents did their best in determining which high school soccer players had the most successful seasons in 2010-11.
The Journal’s staff contacted area soccer coaches and other media representatives to seek their input on which players had standout seasons. The following is the list of players the Journal determined to have the most successful seasons.

Anthony Fernandez
Center Midfielder/Left Wing
New Albany

– Vitals: 5-7, sophomore
– Facts: Scored 16 goals and had 13 assists. … Helped lead the Bulldogs to the MHSAA Class 4A semifinals. … Recorded a hat trick in a win over North Pontotoc. … Member of the Journal’s 2010 All-Area team.
n Coach says: “Has phenomenal ball control skills and has the ability to cross the ball with pinpoint accuracy.” – Les Huntington

Fredy Gutierrez
Center Midfielder, Pontotoc

– Vitals: 5-10, sophomore
– Facts: Scored team-high 20 goals out of the 66 shots he took in 2010-11. … Second on the team in assists (7) in leading Pontotoc to the MHSAA Class 4A quarterfinals. … Had 12 takeaways.
– Coach says: “Fredy controlled the midfield all season for us. He is also a very strong defender. Fredy also has phenomenal ball skills and has the intangibles it takes to be a great soccer player.” – J.T. Thompson

Zach Khima
Forward, Amory

– Vitals: 5-10, junior
– Facts: Daily Journal’s Player of the Year. … Scored 57 goals, which led Mississippi in all classifications. After setting a new school record for goals scored in a season as a sophomore, Khima broke last year’s mark by 22 goals in 2010-11. … Had 7 assists in leading Amory to the MHSAA Class 4A state championship game. … A second-team All-State selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … Member of the Journal’s 2010 All-Area team.
– Coach says: “He can score anywhere in the attacking third.” – Nathan Clayton

Luke Mason
Midfielder/Defender, Tupelo

– Vitals: 6-0, junior
– Facts: Scored 6 goals and had 10 assists. … Scored goals in big games – he scored a goal in regular-season finale against Starkville that clinched the MHSAA Division 2-6A title – and led the Golden Wave in assists. … Key part of a Wave team that allowed only 19 goals in 22 games.
– Coach says: “All-around great player; can and did play every position on the field with the exception of keeper this year.” – Nathan Hall

John Mathis
Forward, Corinth

– Vitals: 5-9, junior
– Facts: Scored 27 goals and had 4 assists. … 2009-10 and 2010-11 Clarion-Ledger All-State selection. … The 2009-10 Daily Journal Player of the Year led the Warriors to the MHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A state semifinals this past season. … Member of the Journal’s 2010 All-Area team.
– Coach says: “John has grit and wants to beat whoever is on the other side of the ball.” –

John Mathis
Jackson Nabors
Forward/Midfielder, Tupelo

– Vitals: 6-3, senior
– Facts: Scored 17 goals and had 8 assists. … Scored 5 goals and assisted on another in a win over Pontotoc. … Versatile player who can play a number of positions. … Significant component of the Wave scoring 77 goals and having four games this season in which the team tallied 8 or more goals.
– Coach says: “Dominates at winning the ball in the air or ground. One of the most athletic kids on the field at any time for any team.” –
Nathan Hall

Taylor Nabors
Midfielder/Defender, Tupelo

– Vitals: 5-11, senior
– Facts: Scored 7 goals and had 1 assist. … The Golden Wave’s captain was a 2010-11 Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star selection. … Signed with Itawamba Community College.
– Coach says: “He always helped lead the team in the right direction and do what we asked of him. He played most of the year as our center back and was the heart of our defense.” – Nathan Hall

Alvaro Pichardo
Forward/Midfielder, Starkville

– Vitals: 6-1, senior
– Facts: Scored 17 goals and had 11 assists. … Led the Yellowjackets to the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs. … A second-team All-State selection by The Clarion-Ledger.
– Coach says: “To say Alvaro is one of the most talented soccer players to come through Starkville High School would be an understatement. His combination of skill and touch, and his ability to finish off goals made him one of the most dangerous players in the state this past season.” – Brian Bennett

Garrett Rogers
Forward/Midfielder/Defender, Tupelo

– Vitals: 6-1, junior
– Facts: Scored 10 goals and had 4 assists. … 2010-11 Clarion-Ledger first-team All-State selection. … Played all over the field for a Golden Wave team that advanced to the MHSAA Class 6A state semifinals.
– Coach says: “The hardest working player on the field at all times. Willing to do anything that is asked of him and one of the main keys to our success this year.” – Nathan Hall

Ian Rone
Goalkeeper, Oxford

– Vitals: 6-2, senior
– Facts: Recorded 10 shutouts out of the 18 games he played. … Played a key role in the Chargers’ 15-4 record in 2010-11. The Chargers’ only losses were a 2-0 loss to national power Jesuit of New Orleans, losses to MHSAA Class 6A playoff teams Starkville and Madison Central on penalty kicks and a 3-1 loss to eventual 5A state champion Pearl in the state semifinals. … The Chargers have gone 33-5 in the past two seasons with Rone in goal.
– Coach says: “Ian is the best goalie I have ever coached.” – Jamie Perkins