Sometimes there’s a perception that equates postseason honors into deep postseason success.
There are certainly numerous examples of the correlation between the two, but there’s also an illustration from the 2018-19 soccer season that drives home another point.
Neither the boys team from Denham Springs High nor girls from Live Oak High reached the state semifinal round in their respective divisions.
But that didn’t stop the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association from honoring a total of six players from those schools with all-state recognition.
The LHSSCA selected senior Collin Turner and junior Will Chevalier of Denham Springs to the 14-member Division I boys All-State team, while also naming Axel Agurcia to the 11-member All-State Freshman squad.
“It’s abnormal to have two, especially not getting at least to the semis,” Denham Springs boys soccer coach Chris Thorne said. “You put them on any two teams, and I think they’re still going to be in this position.”
This marks the first time in school history Live Oak’s girls soccer team advanced to the Division II state quarterfinals. The Lady Eagles, under first-year coach Kraig Zeller, were honored accordingly with senior Alicia Carlos on the All-State first team and senior Maddie Harrouch on the second team.
Zeller’s daughter Kylie, a freshman, was selected to the All-State Freshman team.
“It was an excellent year,” Coach Zeller said. “We’re going to have three seniors (including goalie Kylie Stringer) that are going to be greatly missed and hard to replace. I’m glad to see the accolades that our girls have received.”
Carlos and Harrouch, who were first team All-District selections, scored 27 goals apiece and helped lead Live Oak to an undefeated District 4-II championship and historic run in the playoffs.
The Lady Eagles (18-5-1) recorded the school’s first state regional playoff win – a resounding 6-1 upset over seventh-seeded Ouachita Parish – before falling 4-1 to eventual state runner-up Lakeshore in a home quarterfinal – another first for the program.
“Alicia was three times all-district and all-state as a freshman,” Zeller said. “Getting that (first-team selection) for her senior year was icing on the cake.”
Denham Springs was on the brink of a watershed moment for the program, reaching the Division I state quarterfinals, which it was looking to advance past for the first time in program history.
The Yellow Jackets (20-5-1) were turned away, though, falling at fourth-seeded St. Amant, 2-0.
Turner’s no stranger to the Division I All-State team, a plaudit he received as a junior.
While his role as a senior exhibited his versatility with a number of positions played on the field this past season, Turner totaled 10 goals and 11 assists on offense to go along with 24 steals on defense.
“Collin’s body of work since his freshman year until now is heads and tails above most of the guys on that (all-state) list,” Thorne said. “We did move him around a bit this year and he had some different roles than he did before.”
Chevalier took over for Turner as the team’s leading scorer this season, improving his goal-scoring numbers by nine over his sophomore season.
Chevalier totaled 31 goals to go along with 12 assists, earning the District 3-I’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
“Every year I keep thinking he’s so fast, he won’t get faster and he does,” Thorne said. “He gets stronger as well. He works his tail off in the weight room. He has incredible foot work is one of the best I’ve seen with the ball at his feet.”
For the fifth straight year, Agurcia, who scored nine goals and four assists in 28 games, gave Denham Springs a selection on the All-State Freshman team. He joins Turner, Chevalier, Brennan Amato and Cameron Hamby.