After cruising through their last Class B schedule, the Dragons showed they were ready for Class A by winning a district title and reaching the Class A state semifinals. That success led to five players on the All-ITG Boys Soccer Team.
Papillion-La Vista and Gross Catholic notched three selections, while Papillion-La Vista South tallied two. Bellevue West, Ralston and Bryan each added one selection.
Jake Cover, John Cover, Patrick Long, Zac Voss and Brendan Franke earned the All-ITG nod for the Dragons. Jake Cover returns to the All-ITG team. He guided the Gretna attack by leading the team in goals scored with 14, while adding nine assists.
The junior scored three goals twice this season against Fremont and Nebraska City and he tallied two assists in both of Gretna’s games against Plattsmouth.
John Cover was the leading catalyst to get the motions going for Gretna. The midfielder is proficient on offense and defense and was the bridge to get the ball from the defenders to the offensive attack. He only scored one goal this season, but his 13 assists ranked third in Nebraska with four assists coming against Fremont and three against Nebraska City.
Long has made his presence known in a short time and will only make more noise for the Dragons as his career progresses. The sophomore scored 12 goals and added seven assists to provide a solid one-two punch with Cover. He had games with three goals and three assists this season.
Zac Voss made noise on the offensive end and helped Gretna protect the net. The senior’s 6-foot-2 frame provided plenty of protection on the defensive end, while adding six goals and one assist for the offense.
The defender scored twice against Plattsmouth and Nebraska City.
Brendan Franke continues to be a force in the net for Gretna leading to his second All-ITG selection. The junior goalie tallied 36 saves, while allowing only three goals the whole year.
Josh Jones, Mo Gust and Kendall Anderson are the three representatives for the Monarchs. After a disappointing 2018 season, Papio finished the season with a 15-6 record and beat defending champion Kearney in the first round of the Class A State Tournament.
Jones was a mainstay in the back for the Monarchs by starting every game the past two years. The junior defender tallied one goal and one assist. His goal was a game-winner against Bellevue East.
Gust provided the front support for the Monarchs and scored the game-winning. His 6-5, 200-pound frame allowed him to be physical as he marched down the field against most defenders. The senior scorched 11 goals, to lead Papio, and tallied seven assists with three goals coming against Omaha North.
Anderson was second on the Monarchs with eight goals and eight assists to form a solid offensive duo with Gust. While Gust had a bigger frame, Anderson used a 5-foot-10 frame to run past defenders.
He scored two goals in two games and also added three game-winning goals.
Eric Yanovich, Brandt Vomacka and Brandon Villanueva were the three Gross selections on the All-ITG team. The Cougars advanced to the Class B state tournament with a 14-5 record for the third time in four seasons.
Yanovich is a repeat selection on the All-ITG and earned ITG Player of the Year honors this time around. He added more to his plate once UNO commit Michael Monico went down with a season-ending injury.
The junior forward is a natural on the soccer field. He scored 17 goals for 10th best in the state and most among ITG squads. He added six assists. He scored five goals against Concordia, while scoring twice against Roncalli and Beatrice.
Vomacka was the player finding Yanovich throughout the season. Vomacka was the point guard for the Cougars when on the attack. He scored six goals while dishing out 12 assists for a fourth of the teams total assists. His 12 assists is tied for fourth this season in the state.
Villanueva was a force in the net for the Cougars leading to 10 shutout victories. The net defender allowed 0.74 goals per game for best in Class B and seventh in state and added 68 saves against just 14 goals allowed.
Matt Jones and Zach Selph represent Papio South on the All-ITG squad. The Titans lost in a district shootout final for the fifth-straight season, but earned a wild card at state with a 12-7 record for their first state appearance since 2013.
Jones is the leader of the Titan group. He’s started on the back end for three-straight seasons and heads a solid Papio South senior class in 2020. The defender does all the things that don’t end up on the stat sheet, but added a pair of goals this season.
The junior scored a game-winning goal with Millard South and made a penalty kick against Papio for his two goals.
Selph thrived as the goalkeeper for the Titans, posting nine shutout victories this season. He stopped more than 10 shots in a game four times, including 17 saves against Omaha South, earlier in the year. The senior totaled 134 saves, for fifth best in state, and allowed 18 goals, while stopping six penalty kicks.
Bryan’s Noor Hassan, Ralston’s Felix Rivera and Bellevue West’s Cruz Jurado were the lone representatives for their respective teams. Bryan finished with a 8-9 record with its season ending in the first round of districts.
Ralston lost in the first round the sub-districts to finish with a 8-7 record, while Bellevue West lost in the district final against Gretna to end with a 6-11 record.
Hassan is the Bears’ leader and they go as he goes. He led the Bears with 13 goals tied for 11th in the state and just totaling under half the total goals for Bryan. He added four assists.
The junior had one hat trick on the season and a pair of two-goal games.
Rivera is the Rams’ conductor at midfield. He is able to distribute the ball to the forwards, while also having the ability to make some noise on his own. He scored three goals and tallied two assists. The senior logged the third-most minutes on the field for the Rams.
Jurado had big shoes to fill this season after losing All-ITG players in Jason Moneymaker and Daniel Campbell, who made multiple All-ITG appearances, from last season. He stepped up to be the T-birds’ leading scorer by scoring just under half the teams goals to make an All-ITG appearance.
The junior captain scored 10 goals and notched two assists. He scored three goals against Omaha North and two against Millard West.