For the first time, the Bossier Press-Tribune has named All-Bossier Parish boys and girls soccer teams.
You’ll find the teams, which are presented by Landers Dodge, on Page 14 of today’s paper.
Anyone who’s followed high school soccer in the parish this season will not be surprised that Airline dominated the boys team.
A total of 11 Vikings made the team, including seven on the first team.
In fact, one of the most difficult decisions was which Airline players would be on the second team.
As Airline coach Sarah Yarina — the All-Parish Coach of the Year — pointed out more than once this season, every player contributed to the Vikings’ success.
But decisions have to be made. Other parish players deserved first-team honors too.
One thing to remember is this — you’re an All-Parish player whether you are a first- or second-team selection.
One might legitimately ask, though, how can basically every starter on one team be an All-Parish player? Five parish schools have soccer teams.
For starters, Airline went 25-3 in the regular season. The Vikings won the District 1, Division I title with an 11-1 mark.
Airline finished 27-3 overall after losing to eventual state champion Jesuit of New Orleans 3-0 on the road.
The Vikings went 7-0 against Bossier Parish competition, outscoring their opponents a combined 40-1.
Airline, Parkway and Benton were the three best girls teams in the parish and they make up the entire girls first team.
The Lady Vikings and Lady Panthers finished tied for third in District 1-I, and Benton won Division I-II.
One thing to remember is this. These are not All-Stats teams. Parish teams played varying levels of competition, which can lead to some misleading statistics. Plus, some players aren’t going to have a lot of goals or assists because of the position they play. That doesn’t mean that aren’t just as valuable to their teams.
The only time statistics played a fairly significant role was in choosing the MVPs.
The Press-Tribune picked the teams after receiving nominations and recommendations from coaches. We asked the coaches to rank the players and proceeded from there.
We did not divide the teams into positions, although players of every position made the teams.
We realize these teams aren’t perfect — just like any All-Star teams. It’s always difficult and not always accurate to say that one player is “better” than another.
We realize not everyone will agree with our selections and there will be disappointment. But we also firmly believe these players — first AND second team — deserve recognition for their outstanding seasons.
Congratulations to all.
Russell Hedges is sports editor of The Press-Tribune. Contact him at 747-7900 or rhedges@bossierpress. com.