Four local players capture first-team all-state honors
Thursday, December 13, 2001
All-state honors for the 2001 season were awarded to several area soccer players by the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association this week.
Cape Girardeau Notre Dame, the fourth-ranked team in the Class 1A-3A state poll, placed a host of players on the team.
Tyler Cuba, Adam Prasanphanich and Scott Wittenborn were voted to the first team; Matt Pobst and Travis Siebert were second-team selections; and Nathan LeGrand received honorable mention.
Jon Mark Thompson and Trevor Blattner of Cape Central, the state's seventh-ranked team in the final Class 4A poll, made the first and second teams, respectively.
"They were a coach's dream," said Cape Central coach Tom Doyle, "just fine young men who worked hard, knew the game well and played it very well."
Jackson's Matt Gordon, a senior midfielder, and Patrick Kohm, a senior forward, received honorable mention on the 4A team.
Thompson, Cape Central's single-season co-leader with 26 goals and career scoring leader with 60, repeated as a first-team midfielder.
A four-year varsity starter, Thompson was voted Cape Central's most valuable player and best offensive player.
Blattner, also a four-year starter and team captain along with Thompson, tied for the Tigers' best defensive player award.
Although forced to miss six games with a broken toe, goalkeeper Blattner recorded 12 shutouts and had an outstanding 0.90 goals-against average.
Thompson and Blattner led Cape Central to a 23-4-1 record and a district championship. The Tigers' season ended with a heartbreaking, four overtime 1-0 loss to De Smet in the sectional round of the state tournament.
Senior midfielder Wittenborn's work ethic and leadership ability were instrumental to the success of the Bulldogs, who enjoyed an 18-5-2 season and captured their fourth straight district title. Much like cross-town rival Cape Central, the Bulldogs' season ended with a tough 1-0 loss to eventual state champion St. Mary's in the sectional round.
Wittenborn, who scored 11 goals and assisted on 12 last season, scored 42 for his career at Notre Dame. He also earned a reputation as a clutch player in big games.
"When there was a chance to make a big play, a header into the net or a pass for a score, he would come through for us," said Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn.
Junior forwards Cuba and Prasanphanich used their speed and athleticism to break down defenses and create scoring opportunities for the balanced Notre Dame attack.
"The best thing about Tyler and Adam is they'll be back," said a delighted coach Wittenborn.
He added, "The maturity of Cuba was impressive. He never thought about individual statistics, only what he could do to help the team."
Prasanphanich, who struggled on the offensive end as a sophomore, prompting a move to defender, was switched back to forward this season and came into his own as an offensive threat.
"Adam's confidence grew and he made some eye-popping plays," said Brad Wittenborn.
Pobst, a senior defensive specialist, spearheaded an aggressive Bulldog defense.
Junior goalie Siebert had an awesome season, limiting opponents to a paltry nine goals, while recording 13 shutouts.
LeGrand, a senior center fullback who manned the position this season only, was chosen the all-region Defender of the Year.
Cape Central's Doyle was selected 4A Coach of the Year for the Southeast Region, while Notre Dame's Brad Wittenborn received the same honor for Class 1A-3A.
Sikeston senior Adam Garrett was named to the second team as a forward.