Spartans duo earn high accolades
A year ago, Centennial’s boy's soccer team waited until the final game of District 9-5A to collect a win.
The Spartans turned things around this season going 5-2-7 in district play to finish third and make their first post-season appearance since 2013.
Centennial lost in a razor-close match 1-0 to Midlothian in a Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff game. The Spartans finished the season with a record of 11-6-7.
Spartans coach Brian Boydstun said the team's success was due in part to the efforts of the senior class.
“As a coach you want to see your players fight through adversity, be committed to each other, and put in the work necessary to be successful,” Boydstun said. “When things get tough some teams crack. The seniors in this class have experienced three years of constant failure leading up to this season, and one would think many of them would just shut down.
“There was a moment in the middle of district last year when I told the guys to not focus on the score and wins and loses, but just work hard every day. I told them our hard work may not pay off today, tomorrow, or even this year, but it will pay off. This team and these seniors believed that and put in a lot of extra work to battle through and make the playoffs. I’m so proud of how they trusted and believed in me and each other. They have raised and reset the standard for what we expect from Centennial soccer.”
The Spartans had two superlative players on the recently released 9-5A boys soccer team and there were three first-team players.
Youth was served as a sophomore and freshman earned high honors. Sophomore Mason McBeath was named the Utility Player of the Year and freshman Nolan Walker was honored as the Offensive Newcomer.
McBeath played most of the time in the midfield but also dropped back into a defensive role and even played up high as a striker. The sophomore finished with nine goals and five assists.
“Mason is one of those players you can put anywhere on the field because of his knowledge of the game,” Boydstun said.
The Spartans defense allowed 0.7 goals per game this season and Walker playing at center-back was one of the keys to the defenses play.
“Nolan first showed what he could do this summer during our summer league games,” Boydstun said. “He started there and never let go of the position. He has great speed but it was his size that allowed him to be effective as a freshman.”
Centennial’s first-team players were seniors Alex Miranda and Casey Wright and junior Nick Scarpello.
Like Walker, Miranda was a lynch-pin in the Spartans stingy defense. Boydstun said only one goal all season was created on Miranda’s side of the field.
“The way I played him this year, I asked him to push forward a lot but also get back defensively,” Boydstun said. “His ability to read the game and pick his moments to get forward made him a great defender on the outside.”
At the start of the season, Boydstun was wondering where the Spartans offense was going to come from. Scarpello delivered offensively scoring 11 goals and added seven assists from his attacking midfield role.
“Nick is big and strong,” Boydstun said. “His ability to hold the ball up and drive at defenses proved tough for teams to handle.”
Wright, playing up top, was another player who came up big offensively for Centennial. The senior notched 10 goals and registered four assists.
“Last year, Casey was injured most of the season which held him back,” Boydstun said. “This year by playing alongside Nick and staying healthy, he was able to produce his best output in his high school career.”
Centennial produced four second-team players in senior keeper Josh Emsile, senior defender Corin Seale, junior midfielder Akwasi Agyei and junior defender AJ Pando.
The Spartans honorable mention players were senior midfielder Bidauri Trujillo and junior forward Alex Moreno.