Elias named best in Three Rivers League
Although the Newberg boys soccer team suffered a disappointing first-round exit from the state playoffs, there is plenty for the team and coach M.J. Tate to celebrate about the 2017 season.
The Tigers went unbeaten in conference play (5-0-2) to win their first-ever league title and goalie Nerick Elias was named Three Rivers League player of the year and Tate was tabbed coach of the year.
"Winning league was fantastic," Tate said. "It was a momentous thing and you can't take that away from the guys."
Elias was one of four players named to the All-TRL first team after posting three shutouts and surrendering six goals in seven league contests.
"For him personally, it couldn't have been a better senior year," Tate said. "Everything came together. My coaching peers were completely spell bound by his quality."
Joining Elias on the first team were senior forward Nic Carsh, junior midfielder Geronimo Lopez-Garcia and senior defender Kyle Charbonneau, giving Newberg a first-team honoree at all four levels of the pitch.
Midfielder Ben Gentile was named to the second team, with fellow seniors Cole Alteneder, Juan Campuzano-Perez, Alan Rodriguez and Alexis Mendoza, along with sophomore Zack Macris, earning honorable mention.
The state champion boys water polo team featured three All-Pac-9 first-team honorees in Dalton Paskett, Zach Jordan and Wilson Johnson, as well as second-team performers Raleigh Day and Dane Findley.
The Tiger girls water polo team, also state champs, also had five players named all-league, with Grace Kavanagh, Mackenzie Russell and Jordan Trantham named to the first team. Stella Byles and Hailey Day earned second-team honors.
Although the Newberg volleyball team struggled to a winless season in Three Rivers play, conference coaches honored Nya Brown with a spot on the all-league first team. The senior libero averaged 13 digs per match, was 83 percent in passing efficiency in serve receive and was 94 percent from the service line.
"Nya is an incredibly hard worker who has shown a lot of growth over the years," coach MacKenzie Upchurch said. "She was recognized for her commitment and dedication to the team as well as her speed and ability to read and anticipate the ball."
The Tiger football team, which was hammered with injuries over the course of the 2017 campaign, nonetheless garnered five all-league honors. Leading the way was senior Bryon Morris, who was named to the second team as both a wide receiver and a cornerback. Earning honorable mention for Newberg were senior quarterback Garrett Myers, inside linebacker Taylen Reid and safety Jack Evans.
Seniors Maggee Hodgdon and Casey Novak earned all-TRL second-team honors after leading the girls soccer team, which also saw Beth Robertiello garner honorable mention.
Novak was also a first-team performer in cross-country, with teammates Abigail Hein (second team) and Savanna Salmons (honorable mention) also earning recognition from the league. Senior Carson Herrick was also named honorable mention for the boys team.