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    Centennial senior forward Nick Scarpello earned first-team honors on the District 5-5A boys soccer team. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Two Spartans make first team

Although Centennial’s boys soccer team couldn’t make a repeat appearance in the playoffs this season, the Spartans were able to land a pair of players on the District 5-A All-District team.

The play of senior forward Nick Scarpello and junior defender Mason McBeath impressed the coaches of the district enough to warrant a spot on the first-team.

For the past two seasons, Nick Scarpello has played up top after playing defense on the varsity during his sophomore season with the Spartans.

“Nick has always been an attacking player,” Centennial coach Brian Boydstun said. “When he was a sophomore I used him as a defender because we were really thin at that position. My philosophy has always been to build the team from the back. If you don’t have a great defense and you are giving up a ton of goals nothing else matters.”

During his junior season, Scarpello moved to forward, which is his true position. He finished the season with nine goals and 11 assists.

“What makes him special is his ability to play with his back to the goal,” Boydstun said. “He can have someone right on his back and you can play the ball to his feet because he is so physical. Even in that situation, he’s still able to receive the ball and maintain possession of the ball going forward. He can make passes forward from the position and has great speed. You play the ball through him and he can also put a lot of pressure on defense’s with his feet.”

During his career at Centennial, McBeath has shown his versatility by playing all around the field.

“Mason is one of those kids that can play pretty much anywhere,” Boydstun said. “This was one of those years where I asked him to play a defender for us. We had four of our back five graduate or move from last season’s team. So we had a big missing gap in our team that we needed to fill and he was one of those guys that I knew could do it.”

Boydstun said the coaches in 5-5A had a lot of respect for McBeath because of  the type of player that he is. He added that opposing coaches have to keep track of McBeath wherever he is on the field. The junior registered four assists and scored a goal this season.

“What makes him a special player to me is his ability to play anywhere on the field,” Boydstun said. “He played right back for us predominately this season. He played in the midfield a little for us. His best position would probably be playing center midfield where he can control the game.”

The Spartans finished district play with a 4-6-4 record and just missed out on a trip to the playoffs. Centennial ended the season with an overall record of 10-7-5.

“The season was almost identical to the year before,” Boydstun said. “We just came up a little short in district play. We only gave up 21 goals this season and the year before we allowed a school-record 18 goals. That’s pretty good considering what we lost on defense.”

After three years of leading the boys' program, Boydstun, who also coached the Lady Spartans soccer team, will just coach the girls' squad next season.

“I was proud of how the guys played,” Boydstun said. “It really came down to just getting that one win early. It was still a great winning season we were right there regarding making the playoffs. It’s a really tough district with a lot of good teams with everyone duking it out for a playoff spot.”

The Spartans had two second-team players in senior midfielder Ryan Lujan and senior defender A.J. Pando.

Centennial produced three honorable mention players in senior midfielders Akwasi Agyei and Bidauri Trujillo and junior forward Marcos Vasallo.

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