BHS sweeps boys all-region soccer awards
Bainbridge High School swept both of the top boys’ honors, in the recently released coaches All-Region 1-AAAAA soccer teams.
Bainbridge boys coach Jamie Ard was named the coach of the year, and junior forward Luis Mejia was named the player of the year. The Bearcats had a historic season in 2013, finishing with a record of 14-3-2 and winning the Region 1-AAAAA championship.
Mejia finished his junior season with a team-high 25 goals, as well as 10 assists.
“I could not have been more thrilled for Luis,” Ard said. “He is an oustanding player. More than that, he is a very positive example for his teammates.
“He has a great work ethic on the field and in the classroom.”
Ard said that Mejia prefers to play midfield, but he selflessly switched to forward this year because the Bearcats had a need at that position.
“He did it without complaint, and look where it got him,” Ard said. “I’m just so happy that he got a very deserved reward for his unselfishness. He’s a great player and a great young man.”
Other Bearcats named first-team all region included junior midfielder Daniel Provence, sophomore defender Alex Ward and junior goalkeeper Dominic Douglas. Provence had eight goals and five assists for the Bearcats.
Bainbridge senior midfielder Carlos Becerra and senior defender Kimani Crawford were named to the all-region second team.
Ard said he was extremely humbled to have been named the region’s coach of the year.
“There are many outstanding coaches in our region, and for them to vote me coach of the year was a tremendous honor,” he said. “I am just so grateful. I do want to say that this honor would not have been possible without the assistance I got from Bruno Corvers, a former professional player from England, and my personal former coach, Dan Provence.
“Coach Chip Ariail was also instrumental in our success. The honor would not have been possible without the oustanding team that we had this year. This award really is an honor, not just for me, but for the entire soccer program.”
Girls’ all-region honors
Bainbridge senior defender Caitlin Cato was named to the first-team all-region girls’ team. Cato, a three-year starter, ended her senior season with four goals and three assists.
Two Lady Cats were named to the all-region second team. They were sophomore forward Longeisha Emanuel, who had 13 goals and one assist, and sophomore midfielder Jennifer Becerra, who had five goals and seven assists.
Carsen Taylor of Lee County was the player of the year, and Courtney Warner of Thomas County Central was the coach of the year.