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Russellville High School soccer receives awards for 2021 success

The 2021 post-season awards have started to roll in for the Russellville High School varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer teams.

The Golden Tiger boys finished the year as AHSAA Class 4A-5A runner-up after a thrilling run through the playoffs that wrapped up with a trip to the finals in Huntsville for the first time in school history.

Russellville head coach Trey Stanford was recently named boys Coach of the Year for 1A-5A after a vote by coaches across the state.

“It’s an honor,” Stanford said. “It’s what you strive for, I guess, when you start this profession. Of course, it wasn’t my first goal. I love kids, and I love pretty much any sport. I love soccer and football, and that’s my passion.

“I enjoy doing it, and as they say, anything that you do every day that you love to do isn’t work. So, I don’t consider it work; I really enjoy it, and I really enjoy what we do.”

Stanford also gave credit to the players on the team. “The boys make my job way easier,” he explained. “They are so talented. When it comes down to it, those guys make me look a whole lot better than I am. You’re only as good as your talent, and we have a lot of talent.”

The coaches also voted on the All-State team, and RHS had two players make the Super All-State first team, which consists of players from any classification. Juniors Juan Cano and Jonathan Salgado received the high honor.

Cabo and Salgado were joined on the Class 4A-5A first team by their teammate, Bernardo Ponce, also a junior on this year’s RHS squad.

Receiving 4A-5A second-team honors were junior midfielder Vicente Machic and senior keeper Daniel Martinez. Orlando Jimenez received honorable mention.

The 2021 North-South All-Star roster was chosen by a special coaches committee from nominations received by AHSAA member coaches. The rosters consist of players that will be rising 2022 seniors, and Russellville’s Salgado will participate in the game held at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery July 21 as part of the All-Star Sports Week events.

The Russellville girls also had a history-making season in 2021 with an area championship and a second-round play-off appearance. Kathy Sanchez, a junior midfielder, was named to the 4A-5A girls’ second team All-State squad, while Jayna Poss, Jessica Lugo and Sandra Mateo received honorable mentions.