Netting honors: 2024 All-County Team spotlights top boys soccer players

Published 6:08 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

Shelby County is always a hotbed for the beautiful game, and 2024 showed why once again.

A county team returned to the top of the mountain as Oak Mountain made national waves with their undefeated state championship season and No. 3 national rank, and Westminster at Oak Mountain joined them in a trip to the title game in Huntsville.

That was just the surface of a deep field of county contenders as Chelsea, Pelham and Calera all made deep playoff runs and Briarwood and Montevallo walked away with area titles.

Within each of those teams and more were plenty of talented individual players worthy of recognition as the top players in Shelby County.

Now, the deep and crowded field of talent has been collected in the 2024 All-County Team to forever enshrine their accomplishments from another incredible boys soccer season.


First Team

Forward: Aidan Riley, junior, Oak Mountain. The 2024 Shelby County Player of the Year and Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year finalist often made magic with his touches in the final third and was as dominant as any player in the state this year. He scored 25 goals from the wing and had 10 assists.

Forward: Nate Joiner, senior, Oak Mountain. Joiner brought the finishing power up top for the Eagles as one of the best pure strikers around. He earned First Team spots on the Super All-State and All-Metro teams behind his 32 goals, the second-most in the county, and five assists.

Forward: Aiden Gamble, junior, Westminster OM. Gamble is your 2024 Shelby County Golden Boot winner after he supercharged the Knights offense with 35 goals, a county high that also tied the single-season school record. He also added 14 assists to bolster his case for spots on the North All-Star Team, Super All-State Second Team and All-Metro First Team.

Forward: Max Wever, junior, Chelsea. Wever made the most of the chances he received and elevated the Hornets attack to new heights in 2024. He scored a team-high 26 goals and added three assists as he earned Second Team selections to the 7A All-State and All-Metro rosters.

Midfielder: Kaleb Bass, senior, Chelsea. Bass posed a threat just about every time he touched the ball, turning dead plays into scoring chances and enabling the offense to find successful opportunities. The Southern Union signee ended the year with 16 goals and 12 assists along with 29 tackles and 27 interceptions to earn a First Team spot from the 7A All-State and All-Metro selectors.

Midfielder: Matthew Chaux, senior, Pelham. Chaux closed out his Panthers career on a high note with 17 goals and three assists. His potent attack elevated the Pelham offense to a quarterfinal berth and put himself on the 6A All-State Second Team and All-Metro Second Team ahead of his college career at Southern Union.

Midfielder: Gabe Capocci, junior, Oak Mountain. Capocci was an essential playmaker on both ends of the pitch as a defensive midfielder, but on the offensive end, the First Team Super All-State and All-Metro selection scored 10 goals and added six assists.

Midfielder: Alexis Lopez, sophomore, Montevallo. Lopez controlled the pitch in the midfield and used his dominance to empower the Bulldogs offense. He ended the year with 22 goals, 12 assists and 21 tackles to help Montevallo repeat as area champions.

Defender: Luke Miller, sophomore, Chelsea. Miller continued proving why he is one of the best two-way players in the state. He set school records for single-season interceptions with 77 along with career records for interceptions and tackles as just a sophomore, and he contributed 11 goals and nine assists on offense. That gave him a Super All-State First Team selection, his third-straight All-State nod and second in 7A.

Defender: Braylon Anderson, senior, Thompson. Anderson was an absolute ballhawk out of the center back spot as he racked up an incredible 80 tackles this season, which was one of the most in the county. The Super All-State First Team selection and Faulkner signee also had four goals, three assists and 15 deflections to close his Warriors career.

Defender: Luke Jovanovich, junior, Oak Mountain. Jovanovich was an essential part of the Eagles buildup all season long with his 12 assists and three goals, but the wing back truly stepped up his game down the stretch and earned Class 7A Final Four MVP honors in Huntsville to cap off a Super All-State First Team season.

Defender: Om Shrestha, senior, Oak Mountain. The reigning Shelby County Player of the Year made the move back to defense this season to help the Eagles out, but the former Birmingham-Southern commit still played a key role in Oak Mountain’s offense with a pair of goals and eight assists while tracking some of the state’s top attackers en route to another Super All-State First Team selection.

Goalkeeper: Brock Marlow, senior, Chelsea. Marlow excelled at stopping shots throughout the year as he finished the season with 78 saves and eight clean sheets. However, the future UAB netminder really shined when directing traffic and enabling both the defense and counterattack to succeed. As a result, he earned First Team spots on the All-Metro and 7A All-State teams as well as a Super All-State Second Team selection.


Second Team

Forward: Sam Collins, junior, Oak Mountain. Collins was another extremely important attacking piece for the undefeated Eagles, scoring 18 goals and nine assists to earn Second Team honors for the 7A All-State and All-Metro rosters.

Forward: Javi Rivera-Miranda, senior, Chelsea. The senior attacker made his presence felt in a big way in the final third all season long. The Southern Union signee finished with 17 goals and 15 assists, proving he was as good at dishing the ball out as he was finishing, and had 43 tackles and 24 interceptions to keep the ball in Chelsea’s favor and make the Second Team for 7A All-State and All-Metro.

Forward: Charlie Krulak, junior, Westminster OM. Krulak missed a third of the season due to injury, but he made up for lost time with 17 goals and 12 assists. The 1A-3A All-State Second Team selection also scored some of his biggest goals in the biggest games, including a bicycle kick in the quarterfinals against Collinsville and two goals in the semifinals against Tanner.

Montevallo’s Irving Choto was among multiple All-County selections for the area champion Bulldogs after another successful season. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

Forward: Irving Choto, junior, Montevallo. Choto scored goals in bunches for the Bulldogs all year long as he ended 2024 with five hat tricks as part of a team-high 23 goals, and he also dished out nine assists.

Midfielder: Edson Gonzalez, sophomore, Calera. Gonzalez spearheaded the Eagles attack with a team-high 17 goals from the No. 10 spot. He also earned nine assists to position himself as a player to watch in his upperclassman years.

Midfielder: Matthew Doerfler, junior, Calera. A versatile attacking threat, Doerfler ended the season with 12 goals and 11 assists to earn All-Metro Second Team honors. However, it was his first-round goal against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa that made the biggest difference as his clutch scoring was part of why Calera reached the quarterfinals.

Midfielder: Sawyer Felton, junior, Briarwood Christian. Felton was a crucial part of the Briarwood attack as he generated chances for himself and his teammates and powered the Lions to an area championship and the second round. He will represent Briarwood on the North All-Star team and earned All-Metro Second Team honors.

Midfielder: Harper Jones, junior, Chelsea. Not all midfielders need to regularly work their way into the final third and create chances to be successful, and Jones was the prime example of that as Chelsea’s holding midfielder. His 49 interceptions and 41 tackles helped him win balls and contribute to the Hornets success on offense, and he also had three goals and three assists.

Defender: Jair Camargo, sophomore, Pelham. Camargo may have played center back for the Panthers, but he didn’t let his defensive role limit his impact. In addition to his standout defensive work, he had a double-digit scoring campaign with 10 goals and five assists.

Defender: Cameron Harrington, junior, Briarwood Christian. Harrington was a crucial part of a notoriously tight Briarwood backline and earned 6A All-State and All-Metro First Team recognition as a result of his contributions to the defense.

Defender: Erik Ledvina, junior, Indian Springs. Ledvina was a master in one-on-one battles as he won over 50 percent of the duels he was in. Add in five goals, eight assists and 24 tackles, and that was a recipe for a North-South selection and Second Team spots on the 6A All-State and All-Metro squads.

Defender: Ben Locks, senior, Montevallo. Locks’ imposing 6-foot-3 frame helped him win plenty of battles in the air, and the senior captain also attacked the ball for 59 tackles. His offensive contributions of seven goals and five assists earned him 4A All-State First Team recognition as well.

Goalkeeper: Raul Jacobo, senior, Pelham. Jacobo had already left his mark on the Pelham program, but he capped off his time as a Panther with even more incredible and crucial saves on the road to the quarterfinals. The Southern Union signee earned 87 saves and 10 clean sheets and made the First Team for 6A All-State and All-Metro.


Third Team

Pelham’s Elder Esquival earned an All-County Third Team spot for his offensive contributions, joining multiple teammates on the roster after a run to the quarterfinals. (For the Reporter/Jeremy Raines)

Forward: Elder Esquival, junior, Pelham. Esquival often found himself on the end of big chances, and his finishing power gave the Panthers plenty of goals. He ended the year with an even 16 goals and 16 assists to secure a North All-Star selection and 6A All-State and All-Metro First Team spots.

Forward: Austin Lewis, junior, Helena. Lewis impressed many with his big contributions to the Huskies offense. The junior striker finished out 2024 with 14 goals and seven assists.

Forward: Luke Likens, sophomore, Westminster OM. Likens didn’t let his age stop him from making a big impact on the Knights attack this season, scoring 16 goals and adding 10 assists.

Forward: Bobby Propper, junior, Spain Park. Propper headed up Spain Park’s offense this season and scored four goals along with one assist in his first year as an upperclassman.

Midfielder: Roy Soldevilla, junior, Oak Mountain. Soldevilla chipped in five goals and five assists as an attacking midfielder this season, playing a key role in the Eagles state title winning attack.

Midfielder: Avery Biga, junior, Indian Springs. Biga led Springs in scoring from the midfield with 10 goals, and he also chipped in five assists while facing tough competition at the Class 6A level.

Midfielder: Grant Saether, senior, Chelsea. Saether got plenty of chances to flash his speed over the course of his final season in a Hornets uniform, scoring six goals and earning seven assists on offense while making 31 interceptions and 30 tackles on the defensive end.

Midfielder: Brandon Cruz, senior, Chelsea. The Huntingdon commit closed the book on his Chelsea career with 36 tackles and 27 interceptions to win the ball back for the Hornets, and he scored twice and added four assists on the other end of the pitch.

Defender: Harrison Kilgore, junior, Oak Mountain. Kilgore not only shored up a stout defensive line for the Eagles, but he played a key role in the offensive buildup with his 10 assists and two goals.

Defender: Noah Holmes, senior, Westminster OM. Holmes bounced back from missing his entire junior season due to a concussion by racking up tackles and interceptions on the back line en route to making the 1A-3A All-State First Team.

Defender: Jack Hendrix, senior, Helena. Hendrix flourished in his third and final season as a starter, keeping the back line together even when faced tough competition in Class 6A. On the offensive end, he scored two goals and had four assists.

Defender: Elijah Huggins, junior, Chelsea. Huggins faced many challenges from tough attackers in 2024 and not only survived, but thrived as an essential member of the Chelsea back line. His 32 interceptions and 20 tackles were crucial to shifting possession back to the Hornets.

Goalkeeper: Emerson Maughan, senior, Briarwood Christian. Maughan made plenty of crucial saves in big situations throughout the season and played a crucial part in Briarwood’s 11 clean sheets in 2024. His incredible play in goal was recognized with an All-Metro Second Team place.


Honorable Mention: Thomas Lanier, Briarwood Christian. Mason Drake, Calera. Xander Lenoir, Calera. Armando Molina-Perez, Calera. Sam Njoroge, Calera. Nick Fogle, Chelsea. Halden Honeycutt, Indian Springs. Christian Diaz, Montevallo. Adonay Alverenga, Montevallo. Jake Garner, Pelham. George Everly, Spain Park. Patrick Dunnaway, Thompson. Gio Gallegos, Thompson. Sam Carter, Westminster OM. Walter Moore, Westminster OM. Erick Huerta, Thompson. Andrew Cortez, Westminster OM.