The Wharton boys and girls soccer programs did not produce any playoff teams, but they showed well enough to earn several awards from the District 24 coaches.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers had three players earn first-team All-District honors.
Wharton coach Julio Delgado earned the highest honor as the District 24 Girls Co-Coach of the Year.
The award is normally saved for the district champion. Delgado shared the honor with the Bay City coach. Delgado pulled double-duty coaching the girls and the boys, coming one point from leading the Lady Tigers to the playoffs. Delgado won the boys’ coach of the year two years ago.
“It is a great honor to be nominated by your peer coaches (for) such an important award that means a lot to me,” Delgado said. “Mostly it showed the improvement the girls made throughout this year since the first day of practice you (could) feel their energy and positive attitude towards the soccer season and it showed at the end. (We won) 11 games in total, a record for the program.”
The Lady Tigers came finished one point behind Brazosport for the final playoff spot this past season. With the good play throughout district, two Lady Tigers in Madison Hernandez and Aaliyah Rodriguez earned first-team honors.
“Madison is the best striker in the history of the program. She really was vital for our success this year, being the top scoring in the team with 18 goals in total. She was a great asset to the team and is crazy to think she still has one more year to play,” Delgado said. “Rodriguez has been improving and working on her game this past three years and it showed this season, scoring crucial goals. (She) assisted Madison (on scores) as well as really being a problem for every middle fielder she faced on the field.”
Hernandez was tied for the eighth-most points in district scoring eight goals. Rodriguez had the second-most goals on the team with seven.
Hailey Perez and Kaylie Goad were given second-team recognition.
“Perez was our best defender last year, the coaches remember vividly her amazing slide tackles, which she had seven in district. All clean no fouls, and always being consistent in the back,” Delgado said. “Goad became our best winger this year, playing box to box. (She helped) us a lot to recover balls and transition into attacking (defensives). She had more assists than anyone in the team with 14 overall.”
Rounding out the girls’ awards were Ashley Guajardo, Taylor Brune, Angelie Rauda, Evelyn Baltazar, Catherine Gomez and Katelyn Gutierrez who earned honorable mentions.
The Lady Tigers had a large senior class with Baltazar, Rodriguez, Goad, Guajardo, Perez, Rauda, and Gutierrez, gradating this season.
The Tigers finished in seventh place with only two wins, one coming against playoff team El Campo, beating them 3-2 in the first leg of district play.
Ronaldo Gomez earned the Tigers’ lone first-team recognition from the district coaches.
“He was the leader of the team,” Delgado said. “Gomez always played hard and was ready to go either in practice or games. (He gave) the team talks and (gave) it his all every single game.”
Gomez was a goal creator, leading the Tigers with eight assists, tied for the most in district play.
Luis Ocampo was awarded second-team honors.
“He has been one of the most consistent players for last three years, and our most solid defender we had,” Delgado said. “He fought through injuries this year but it didn’t stop him from playing most minutes and starting every game.”
While a defender for the Tigers he chipped in a goal and assists during district.
Rounding out the Tigers awards were Bryan Perez, Joshua Rivas, Jazir Guajardo, Christopher Enriquez, Eli Ventura and Angel Gonzales who received honorable mentions.
The Tigers had five seniors this season, Perez, Gomez, Jose Gutierrez, Torrance Fobbs, and Kirvyn Cano.