Steyn, Levinson lead state’s soccer capital

Steyn leads All-County girls’ soccer team

It didn’t take long for high school soccer coaches, players and fans in the state to get to know Spain Park junior Annalika Steyn after she sat out her sophomore season to play with a club team.

Steyn stormed the high school soccer scene by helping the Jaguars win a Class 6A championship in 2009. She took her game to another level in 2010, capturing Gatorade Player of the Year honors after leading Spain Park to a second-consecutive Class 6A title.

Steyn, who has made a verbal commitment to play college soccer at West Virginia University, is considered one of the most feared attackers in the state by opposing coaches and players.

“There’s no doubt,” said Spain Park girls’ soccer coach Robert Starr said. “She’s a dominant player at any position. It makes it unfair at times.”

Steyn scored a team-high 21 goals for the Jaguars in 2010, including a game-winning penalty kick against Grissom to seal the Class 6A championship for Spain Park. Starr said opponents had a difficult time matching up with Steyn, who played both the midfielder and forward positions for the Jaguars.

“There’s no question she’s one of the top players in the state,” Starr said. “She’s a difficult match-up for everybody.”

Starr, who remembers facing Briarwood Christian School alum and Olympic star Cat Whitehill, said Steyn is one of the best players he’s seen at the high school level.

“She definitely ranks right up there,” Starr said.

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2010 All-County girls’ soccer team

G – Lauren Arnold, Spain Park, Sr.

D – Lauren Swee, Chelsea, Jr.

D – Dakota DeLuca, Pelham, Sr.

D – Sarah Hook, Indian Springs, Sr.

M – Morgan Motes, Oak Mountain, Sr.

M – Molly Cline, Thompson, Sr.

M – Sara Smeltzer, Briarwood, Fr.

M – Annalika Steyn, Spain Park, Jr.

F – Simone Charley, Spain Park, Fr.

F – Kacey Chance, Thompson, Sr.

F – Abbie Cutcliffe, Briarwood, Fr.

Honorable mention: Jill Hester, Megan Dancy, Meredith Alexander Vicki Hill, Marisa Tomaszewski and Julia Ferguson, Oak Mountain; Selina Delgadillo, Mara DeLuca, Brittany Boles and Natalia Alcaino, Pelham; Lakin Eddy, Gillian Garver, Kristen Spence, Spain Park; Tatum Harless, Danielle Morris and Alyssa Mayer, Thompson; Ally Jennings, Elizabeth Reiser and Anna Kathryn (A.K.) Hall, Briarwood; Katie McCormic and Alexia Figueroa, Calera; Kayla Ogletree, Perri Lambert and Amanda Weygand, Chelsea; Sunny Poyner and Dabney Hofammann, Indian Springs.

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Levinson leads All-County boys’ soccer team

Chelsea High School boys’ soccer coach Lee Miller didn’t have any trouble convincing senior Alex Levinson to try out a new position.

Levinson decided to give up his goalkeeping position to fill a larger team need, despite the fact he earned all-state status as a junior goalkeeper for the Hornets.

Miller remembers Levinson’s exact words when he approached him with the idea of moving to a defender position.

“‘I’ll do anything to help us win,’” Miller recalled. “He has been one of those guys who’ll do anything to help the team.”

Levinson didn’t miss a game in his final three seasons. He was named the Hornets’ most valuable player all three years and was voted team captain by his teammates in his senior season.

Miller said Levinson’s unselfishness played a key role in the Hornets’ success. Chelsea has made it to three consecutive Class 5A tournament appearances.

Miller said Levinson, who will return to his goalkeeper position when he suits up for Birmingham-Southern College next season, is the best player the Chelsea boys’ soccer program has ever produced.

“For him to give up his position and be such a dominant defensive player was incredible,” Miller said. “He was a great field player for us in addition to being a great goalkeeper.”

“I’ve never really had a better player than him,” Miller said.

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2010 All-County boys’ soccer team

G – Hunter Payant, Pelham, Jr.

D – Alex Levinson, Chelsea, Sr.

D – Justin Box, Briarwood, Sr.

D – Gifford Usher, Pelham, Sr.

M – Daniel Wolfe, Oak Mountain, Sr.

M – Saul Arceo, Pelham, Sr.

M – Jack O’Neil, Spain Park, Jr.

M – Trey Jacobson, Thompson, Sr.

F – Jared McKinney, Thompson, Sr.

F – D.J. Jackson, Oak Mountain, Sr.

F – Alex (A.J.) Jamroz, Indian Springs, Jr.

Honorable mention: Michael Thrasher and Brenton Thompson, Oak Mountain; David Canales, Gio Corona, Alex Swan and Phillip Dublin, Pelham; Greg Yund and Spencer Jack, Spain Park; Jacob Ramsey and Aaron Baird, Thompson; Chris Burris, Wilson Whorton and Cooper Harrington, Briarwood; Ashley Page, Chelsea; Nathan Langner and Henoko Lubala, Calera; Doye Travis and Garrett Guevara, Indian Springs.