Augusta's boys soccer team went through an emotional season.
Perhaps that emotion came out the most during the Cancer Awareness Night. A few Orioles have dealt with family members who have cancer or have lost their battle with cancer. But the Orioles did their best to share one another's burdens, and they united closer as a team than ever before.
The Orioles looked back on their accomplishments, struggles and performances this past season at the team's year-end banquet. Coach Monty Rowland and assistand Kyler Rowland, who became a first-time dad in the middle of the season, handed out letters and individual awards for the top performers.
Mason Hiser, who's family has dealt with heavy losses this year, was named one of the team's two Most Valuable Players. Hiser far and away led the team with 13 goals to go along with four assists. He had multiple hat tricks this season.
Brandon Denoncourt was the Orioles' other MVP. Monty wasn't for sure, but he believed that Denoncourt set a team record for most assists in a season with 14. Denoncourt also scored one goal.
Other team awards were shared, as well. Both Andrew Orocio and Kyle Mitchell were named the Most Improved Player. Orocio was one of the top players on the bench early in the season and even started making his way to the starting lineup. Mitchell showed he will be a solid player for the next couple of years.
Caleb Strack was named the Orioles' best defensive player. Strack had speed and was a consistent leader for the back row and was able to mark some of the better players on opposing teams.
Three Orioles—senior Kyler Steinkamp, Corbin Murry and Michael Albrigt—earned Unsung Hero awards, and there probably could've been a few more given out. Steinkamp scored three goals and had two assists as he played both at the forward and midfield positions at times. Winzer, probably one of the two or three fastest players on the team, scored four goals and had two assists while dealing with injuries that kept him out of a couple games. Albright scored five goals and should return as one of the team captain next season.
Augusta finished with 20 varsity letter winners and had a dozen junior varsity letter winners. Monty mentioned how strong the freshmen class, with a good turnout of 16 players, played this season.
In what has become a tradition, the program will be able to give away some scholarship money. The Soccer Shak, which provided concessions all season, raised a record $1,251. The money from the Shak, along with some donations from PT Plus, will be able to provide two $500 scholarships to winners that will be named later.
Jeremy Costello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org