Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
John Doster ended his final season of high school soccer in style.
The Southside High senior was recently named Players of the Year for the 2022 All Gadsden Area boys soccer team.
Doster (pictured above at right) was recently named to the Class 6A All-State first team after finishing with 18 goals and seven assists for the 2022 season, which saw the Panthers win their fourth straight area title and qualified for the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs for the third straight year, not counting the COVVID-19-shortened 2020 season. A three-time all-area selection, he finished with 50 career goals and signed a soccer scholarship with Shorter University earlier this year. Doster was a first-team all-state selection in 20021 and was chosen to participate in the North/South All-State game last July in Montgomery.
“I’ve coached him for four years and I’ve had him in my classroom, and I can’t say enough about him,” said Southside head coach Randy Vice, who was named Coach of the Year. “[The award] says a lot about John’s work ethic, his attitude and his character. You can’t teach or coach the kind of motivation that John has; it comes from the heart.”
Southside junior defender Ariq Chandra was picked for the All Classification Super Team second team and 6A first team. He was selected to participate in this summer’s North/South game after contributing four goals and four assists from his centerback position. He was named the Panthers’ Teams MVP and Defensive MVP and also is a three-time all-area selection.
Four other Southside players joined Doster and Chandra on the first team: junior midfielder Brandon Ayala, a first-team all-state pick and another three-year all-area pick; senior goalkeeper Jake Bell, who posted eight shutouts while averaging eight saves a game; senior forward Said
Toumiba, a three-time all-area selection who contributed 10 goals and 12 assists this season; and senior midfielder Jordi Forloni.
Also making the first team were sophomore forward Aiden Cornutt and sophomore Ian McClantoc from Glencoe; junior left wing defender Luke Carr and senior fullback Chase Capes from Hokes Bluff; seventh grade center-for-ward Zyler Higgins, sophomore center-midfielder Ethan Pratt and senior goalkeeper Evans Sizemore from Westbrook Christian; freshman midfielder Dimitri Guerrero and junior forward Julian Corona from Etowah; senior striker Robby Bowley, freshman midfielder Bladimir Cervantes and junior midfielder Zayden Higgins from Gadsden City; and senior forward Wyatt Knight and junior defender Greyson Simpson from Ashville.
Cornutt led the Yellow Jackets with 26 goals, including three games with a hat trick. McClantoc led the team in takeaways (one-on-one steals) and was Glencoe’s leader on the back line.
Higgins paced the Warriors with 35 goals, Pratt finished with 12 goals 14 assists and Sizemore made 133 saves while allowing only 17 goals.
Corona scored nine goals while playing multiple positions, while Guerrero netted seven.
Bowley and Cervantes led the Titans in goals and assists, respectively, while Higgins was the team’s top midfielder.
Earning honorable mention recognition were senior defender Braden Richee, senior defender Mathais Bakke, freshman striker Cameron Thompson, junior defender Owen Cunningham and sophomore midfielder Caleb Ogle from Southside; sophomore goal keeper Robert Edgar (83 saves), sophomore forward Nick Carroll (led team in assists) and junior forward Gavin Bray (most completed passes) from Glencoe; sophomore Lucas Pruett (13 goals, seven assists), freshman Cashus Hannah (14 goals, five assist) and Ethan Patterson (five goals) from Hokes Bluff; freshman J.D. Berndt (14 goals, three assists), junior John Gilchrist, sophomore Ethan Daffron and freshman Jake Edwards from Westbrook; freshman goal keeper Alex Taylor, junior midfielder Daniel Velasquez and senior defender Isaac Mandujano from Etowah; Gadsden City’s junior defender John Hiller Roberts and sophomore goal keeper Julian Tapio; and Ashville junior defender Joe Stevens and senior midfielder Clayton Knight.