Soccer team receives three WSC awards
The accolades for the Moffat County High School boys soccer team are starting to arrive.
The Bulldogs went from doormat to the team nobody in the wanted to play in the Western Slope Conference in one season. Conference coaches recognized that by handing out three post-season awards to the Bulldogs. Mick Havrilla was named the WSC Coach of the Year, senior Eric Havrilla was named All-Conference and junior Derek Thompson earned All-Conference honorable mention.
“A lot of the kids deserved awards, but our place in the conference (fifth out of six) kept us from receiving more,” said head coach Mick Havrilla.
According to Thompson, Mick Havrilla didn’t mention his own award to his athletes at the team’s award banquet. MCHS Athletic Director Jim Loughran had to break the good news about the team’s humble coach.
“I don’t coach to get awards for myself,” Havrilla said. “The guys are the ones out there playing and the results come from them.”
The voting for the awards took place the week after the regular season finished. Havrilla said the coaches were very complimentary of the improvement they saw from Moffat County soccer.
“I think maybe the reason I got the award was that the other coaches were happy to finally have a competitive game from Moffat County,” he said. “With us getting better it made the whole conference better, it was evident when all three teams that made the playoffs won in the first round.”
Eric Havrilla, who led the team in scoring with nine goals, was also in the voting for being the WSC Player of the Year.
“Coaches told me that Eric was always a factor coming into each game,” coach/dad Mick Havrilla said. “They recognized him as a threat on the offensive side as well as a force on the defensive end.”
Eric gave credit to his fellow seniors for the award.
“I really think C.J. (Brown), Daniel (Carr), Brandon (Duarte), and Mike (Cammer) deserved the award just as much as me,” he said. “At least we had a player make All-Conference because we didn’t last year.”
Thompson didn’t have any big offensive stats for the season (one goal) but according to Mick Havrilla the coaches noticed his consistency and play making abilities.
“I told them he is my invisible player,” Havrilla said. “He is involved in every play and quietly gets the job done.”
Thompson said he was proud of the award because it showed that hard work had paid off.
“The award just shows how much the team and I have worked this past year to become a contender,” he said. “It’s contagious and it makes me already look forward to next season.”
As the athletes left from the awards banquet Monday night, Mick Havrilla was able to reflect on the season.
“As a coach it becomes emotionally draining toward the end of the season, but as I saw those guys walk out the door I knew how much I missed it,” he said. “They deserved every award and probably more.
“I guess with my award it at least tells me I’m doing something right.”
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com
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