Mid County student-athletes dominate All-District soccer honors

Published 12:45 am Saturday, April 17, 2021

Nederland and Port Neches-Groves accounted for 22 players, along with seven Memorial players, in the All-District 21-5A honors.

Nederland’s Payne Barrow earned the district MVP, while PNG’s Jason Lovejoy earned offensive MVP. Indians’ Felipe Figuero earned newcomer of the year.

The Bulldogs finished the season ranked second in the district with a record of 15-9-2, 8-2-2 in district play. Nederland defeated Manvel 2-0 in the first round of the playoff before falling 2-1 to foster in the second round.

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“We were senior heavy and had a good year,” Nederland head coach Keith Barrow said. “Those seniors got shorted on their season last year. I am glad they got to finish the season and made the playoffs by finishing second in a tough division. That was a great accomplishment. The honors are the cherry on top.”

The coach said he was proud of his son, Payne, for earning the MVP.

“It is great,” he said. “Being a parent and seeing how he has worked over the years since he was 3 or 4 years old, it was great to see him get the honor. I am very happy for him.”

Payne Barrow finished the season with nine goals and six assists. Lovejoy, who won MVP last year, finished the year with 29 goals and 34 assists.

PNG finished the season 20-6-2, 7-5-1 before losing to Friendswood 3-1 in the opening round of the playoffs.

PNG head coach Chad Luttrull said this season was Lovejoy’s best season, statistically, of his record-setting career at PNG.

“It is a testament to how hard these kids work,” Luttrull said. “It makes my job easier when you have kids that play and work as hard as they do. It is unfortunate that our district was so competitive this year or we might have won district in any other year.”

Nederland’s Evan Whitehead, Cooper Slott, Ethan Vincent, Fransico Villanueva and Reeve Barrow made All-District first team for the Bulldogs.

PNG’s Andres Sandoval, Eric Figuero, Tate Sandell and Jesus Maldonado earned first team honors for the Indians.

Erik Barajas and Misael Mendoza were named to the first team for Memorial.

Nederland’s Lalo Flores, Jordan Wilson, Diego Aviles and Malachi Nunely were named to the second team along with PNG’s Landon Proenza, Edwin Valenzuela and Manny Terrones and Memorial’s Angel Gonzales and Jose Hernandez.

PNG’s Seth Aguilar, Grant Pearson and Reid Richard were named honorable mentions along with Memorial’s Alex Guerra, Huey Tran and Johnathan Gaitan.