BOYS SOCCER: Memorial, PNG each earn two superlatives

Published 12:13 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

Port Neches-Groves senior Preston Riggs was selected as the District 22-5A offensive player of the year in boys soccer.

He was one of four Mid- and South County persons to receive superlative honors from the district, which released its all-district teams Monday. Port Arthur Memorial senior Ivan Barragas shared the defensive player of the year award with Lumberton junior Jaden Rea. PNG freshman Jason Lovejoy took home newcomer of the year honors, and Memorial’s Chris Bradford is named co-coach of the year, along with Dylan Fairley of Lumberton.

Riggs’ 93 career goals ranks him first in PNG history. He scored 40 of them this season and made 17 assists.

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Lovejoy set a school record with 31 assists to go with 1t goals.

Barragas, who scored six goals and had four assists, played a big role in the Titans’ four shutout victories this season. He helped Bradford turn around a team that had missed the 2017 UIL 5A playoffs into a program that won its first-ever playoff over Humble on March 29 and took Galena Park to overtime before losing 2-1 in the area round. Memorial finished second in district standings to Lumberton.

Corey Bierbaum of Lumberton was named the district most valuable player. Other superlative winners include: Central senior Vidal Valle, midfielder of the year; Lumberton junior Aaron Turner, goalkeeper of the year; and Livingston sophomore Ivan Davalos, utility player of the year.

Three Titans were placed on the first team: senior forward Sergio Sanchez, senior midfielder Andres Garcia and junior midfielder Isaias Rangel. PNG junior midfielder Mario Oceguera and Nederland junior Kevon Landry also made the first team.

The second team includes Memorial forwards Jesus Gonzales (junior) and Christian Lua (senior) and Memorial sophomore Angel Garcia; and from PNG, junior midfielder Marlon Sandoval and sophomore defender Ty Bigham.

Other first-team members: forwards Dillon Peaser of Lumberton and Vicente Lara of Beaumont Central; midfielders Dylan Houseman of Vidor, Landon Smith of Lumberton and Alejandro Rojas of Central; and defender David Azua of Ozen, Alejandro Bustos of Livingston and Garrett Heal of Vidor.

Other second-team members: forward Raul Fernandez of Livingston; midfielders Eduardo Guevara of Vidor, Thomas Troncoso of Lumberton, Jaden Wahl of Lumberton, Eduardo Rios of Livingston and Edgar Flores of Central; and defenders Emilio Beltran of Lumberton, Enzo Malatesta of Lumberton, Jesus Martinez of Ozen and Alan Delgado of Central.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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