MVP award consolation for Brian Winters |

MVP award consolation for Brian Winters

Steve Yingling

Losing teams rarely produce players of the year, but Brian Winters is one of the exceptions.

The South Tahoe High senior midfielder was recently chosen co-offensive player of the year for Northern Nevada League 4A Division II boys soccer, despite the Vikings’ mediocre season record of 7-8-3.

“I’d rather have gone to the zone playoffs than to get that award, but it’s an honor. It will look a lot better for colleges and all that,” said Winters, who shared offensive honors with Adam Kincaid of Douglas.

Winters, who scored 10 goals and assisted on four others, also earned all-league honors.

“That’s saying quite a bit for a guy whose team placed fifth in the division,” said Joe Winters, Brian’s dad and coach. “He had a great year and I think many of the coaches felt he was the guy to watch out for to score for us.”

To earn his second straight all-league selection Winters made a successful transition from playmaker to scorer.

“Brian has always been a center midfielder and our playmaker, but this year we leaned on him a little more for scoring because we had such a young team,” Joe Winters said.

Obviously, Brian Winters didn’t mind the added responsibility of putting the ball in the net.

“I really didn’t feel any pressure. It was a big change for me and I probably didn’t score as many goals as I should have,” he said.

Winters is undecided as to where he will attend college but is leaning toward enrolling in Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. He is also considering two other California schools: Azusa Pacific in Azusa and Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego.

Two of Winters’ Viking teammates also received postseason recognition. Manuel Corea, a senior sweeper, was selected first-team all-division while versatile Alex Romagnolo, a junior sweeper, midfielder and forward, was chosen second-team all-division.

“Manuel has good speed and timing. (Consequently), he’s hard to beat and get around,” Winters said. “I was a little bit disappointed Alex didn’t make first team because I think he deserved it. He was our mainstay on defense and we had to move him around to try and help us get more scoring.”

Meanwhile, South Tahoe’s Faye Clapp and Leah Strohm were picked to the all-Division II girls first team. Both players, four-year varsity members, were also selected as second-team all-league.

Injuries forced Clapp, who is hoping to walk on at UCLA, to miss four games, but she still led the Vikings in scoring from her halfback position.

“She really made a difference for the team when she was healthy,” said STHS first-year coach Jerry Foster. “I think it was hard for her this year not having other offensive players to play with.”

After three years of anonymity, the hard-working Strohm finally got her due as a defender.

“Leah was an anchor on defense all season. She’s been a good defensive player her whole career,” Foster said.

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