By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Dec. 26, 2012 —
The 2011-2012 high school soccer season may not have turned out exactly as the East Carter Raiders and the West Carter Comets had hoped, but there was still reason to celebrate another great year.
It was a landmark year for the Raiders; winning their first district title, finishing with a final record of 10-5-2 before falling to Boyd County in the 16th Region semifinals.
For the Comets, it was the final campaign for former West Carter Head Coach Max Hammond III, who led the Comets to their best season ever at 12-8-2, despite suffering an upset to eventual region champion Greenup County in the first round of the 62nd District Tournament.
Last Thursday, the Journal-Times’ sister paper, the Ashland Daily Independent named its picks for the top players in the area, and both sides of the county had players make the honorary list.
In recognition of the best players in the area, coaches from the local area cast their votes on who they feel should be recognized for their outstanding play during the season.
For the Raiders, it was all about the seniors, as forwards Quinn Huddle and Dalton Gifford were selected as First Team All-Area, making for a second-straight appearance on the team.
Huddle’s offensive contributions played a big role in the Raiders success, contributing 15 goals and 12 assists in his final go around.
Gifford’s defense helped lead the Raiders, while he also contributed three goals and two assists to his team’s effort.
For West Carter, one player graced the first-team selections in senior midfielder Justin Ratliff.
Ratliff, collected 21 goals and five assists for the Comets, including a hat trick effort in the programs’ first win over East Carter.
East and West also had some honorable mentions as well with senior midfielder Tucker Carper, who picked up 13 goals and 10 assists on the year, and Ryan Walker making the squad for east. Senior midfielder Matthew Patrick was named honorable mention for West Carter.
Neighboring County, Rowan, saw three of its players lay claim to fame, with Sebastian Taylor, Matt Catron and Trevor Newsome all making the cut for first-team.
Regional surprise winner, Greenup County, saw its team’s magical run to the state tournament conclude with bittersweet final honors, including coach Andy Zabrieszack grabbing an unexpected naming of coach-of-the year.
Jonah Black, Boyd County midfielder, became the school’s soccer first Player of the Year winner. He tallied a team-leading 17 goals along with five assists this season.
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.