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South Medford's Avila earns top SWC honor

South Medford senior Brian Avila was tabbed as the Southwest Conference boys soccer player of the year during recent voting by the coaches, making it the second straight season a Panther was awarded the top honor.

Avila scored a team-high 17 goals and added 14 assists for South Medford, following in the footsteps of last year's SWC MVP Humberto Cortez.

"He's a rare breed in the sense of what he does, and a lot of things he does the average fan wouldn't recognize," said South Medford coach Dave Kaufman of Avila. "He contributes every single game, whether it's creating the corner kick that results in the goal or gets an assist or scores. No matter who you are, you have to pay attention to him."

Senior teammates Kory Kellum and Blain Rennels joined Avila on the first-team all-league squad. The hard-charging Kellum has 10 goals and nine assists, while Rennels is a key figure for the Panther defense.

"We kind of had to sacrifice some of our scoring with Blain," added Kaufman. "He scored early in the season but he's been one of our defensive bricks for most of the season."

Fellow Panthers Gabe Rennels, a senior, and sophomore Eddie Tovar were on the second team, and freshman Humberto Alvarez was honorable mention.

North Medford was represented on the first team with seniors David Formolo and Jorge Maldonado. Formolo played football for his first three fall seasons at North Medford before returning to the soccer field for his senior season.

Junior Brandon Schoenmann was a second-teamer, and junior Kyle Lipscomb and sophomore Jesus Solorio were honorable mention.

Roseburg's Kevin Hunt was named SWC coach of the year.

Southwest Conference All-Stars

FIRST TEAM — Brian Avila, South Medford, Sr., F; Kory Kellum, South Medford, Sr., F; Blain Rennels, South Medford, Sr., D; David Formolo, North Medford, Sr., F; Jorge Maldonado, North Medford, Sr., MF; Daley Stevens, South Eugene, Sr., MF; Zach Donner, South Eugene, Jr., D; Josh Malone, Roseburg, Sr., F; Chris Krause, Grants Pass, Sr., F; Garrett Clay, Sheldon, Sr., D; Chris Timm, Roseburg, Jr., D; Brandon Johnson, Roseburg, Sr., GK.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Brian Avila, South Medford.

COACH OF THE YEAR — Kevin Hunt, Roseburg.

SECOND TEAM — Gabe Rennels, South Medford, Sr., MF; Eddie Tovar, South Medford, So., D; Brandon Schoenmann, North Medford, Jr., MF; Raul Salgado, South Eugene, So., F; Jonny Kim, Sheldon, Sr., D; Taylor Griggs, Grants Pass, Jr., MF; Russell Wilcox, Grants Pass, Sr., D; Colton Hubler, South Eugene, Sr., MF; Dan Faas, Roseburg, Sr., D; Luke Connelly, South Eugene, Jr., D; Luke Hammer, Roseburg, Jr., F; Stephano Riva, Grants Pass, Sr., MF; Joseph Houck, Sheldon, Sr., MF; Grayson Travis, South Eugene, Sr., GK.

HONORABLE MENTION — Humberto Alvarez, South Medford, Fr., D/MF; Kyle Lipscomb, North Medford, Jr., D; Jesus Solorio, North Medford, So., F; Matt Arbogast, South Eugene, Fr., F; Ian Craig, South Eugene, So., D; Reid Martin, Roseburg, Sr., MF; Skyler Schroeder, Roseburg, Sr., MF; Lucas Walker, Roseburg, Sr., MF; Dillon Witham, Grants Pass, So., F; Jeremy Woodruff, Grants Pass, Jr., D; Kyle Dillon, Sheldon, Sr., MF.

Brian Avila led South Medford with 17 goals and 14 assists this season. - MT file photo