Humberto Cortez of South Medford is the Southwest Conference boys player of the year. The senior led the Panthers to the league championship. - MT file photo

Panthers' Cortez, Sours net honors

While South Medford midfielder Humberto Cortez was a scoring machine for the boys soccer team, center midfielder Anna Sours was doing a little bit of everything for the Panther girls.

And with their respective teams looking to make serious runs in the state playoffs, the two seniors were recognized as players of the year on Monday in the Southwest Conference.

Cortez, who was one of four first-team selections and eight Panthers recognized, scored 10 goals — seven in the SWC play — and added six assists.

Perhaps most impressive about Cortez is that he appeared in just six conference games because of an injury.

"I'm very proud of Beto getting recognized it. It was really neat," said South boys coach Dave Kaufman. "It was great the other coaches recognized him as an impact player.

"It makes you as a coach feel proud. We're a very difficult team to beat when he's in the lineup. He's a very special player. His type of creative ability, well, it doesn't come along very often. There probably hasn't been a player of his caliber at South Medford in a very long time. He could at every moment in the game score a goal or create a goal. Those players come along very rarely."

Kaufman should be proud of himself, too. He was named the boys co-coach of the year with South Eugene's Jurgen Ruckaberle. On the SWC girls side, North Medford's Lu Crenshaw South Medford's Terry Fretz shared the coaching honor.

Other Panthers joining Cortez on the boys first team were senior defenders Matt Mendoza and Raul Tovar and junior forward Brian Avila.

Although his specialty is defense, Mendoza was second on the team in scoring with five goals — four during SWC play. Avila notched four goals and six assists while Tovar, a lock-down defender, scored one goal.

For North Medford, senior Jorge Maldonado was named to the first team for his admirable work as a defender.

As for the girls, no one was as crucial to their team's success as Sours, a three-time all-conference selection.

With a team-first mentality, Sours' orchestrated both the offense and defense and helped the Panthers dominate possession throughout the season.

Of Sours' four goals — three in the SWC — two were game-winners against conference foes North Medford and South Eugene.

"I'm so happy for her because she worked her tail off," said Fretz. "She's been the hardest worker and most consistently hard worker probably of all the players I've had at South in my four years."

"It's just nice to see all of the other coaches honor her for her performance on the field. When they looked at our team, they saw that without our No. 14, we would have been a completely different team."

Crenshaw helped the Black Tornado (7-2-1 SWC) climb to the top spot in the SWC.

The Black Tornado placed Jessica Reid and Kendra McMillen on the first team.

The junior McMillen was dubbed goalkeeper of the year for the second straight season. Reid, a midfielder, is a senior.

SWC All-Stars


FIRST TEAM — Humberto Cortez, South Medford; Matt Mendoza, South Medford; Raul Tovar, South Medford; Brian Avila, South Medford; Daley Stevens, South Eugene; Manny Mendoza, Roseburg; Steven Strickland, Roseburg; Jorge Maldonado, North Medford; Mickey Allapach, Grants Pass; Jonathan Kim, Sheldon.

GOALKEEPER — Evan Turner, South Eugene.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER — Humberto Cortez, South Medford.

COACHES OF THE YEAR — Dave Kaufman, South Medford and Jurgen Ruckaberle, South Eugene.

SECOND TEAM — Matt North, South Medford; Connor Jones, South Eugene; Zach Donner, South Eugene; Colton Hubler, South Eugene; Brady Sherriff, Roseburg; Josh Malone, Roseburg; Waldo Cavillo, North Medford; Russell Wilcox, Grants Pass; Kyle Dillon, Sheldon; Joseph Houck, Sheldon.

GOALKEEPER — Skyler Holt, South Medford

HONORABLE MENTION — Kory Kellum, South Medford; Michael Eagle, South Medford; Ethan Farina-Henry, South Eugene; Kalen Pegeder, South Eugene; Aaron Oppeltz, Roseburg; Aaron Funderburk, Roseburg; Victor Mancilla, North Medford; Dylan Schwarm, North Medford; Dustin Torrey, North Medford; Jordan Van Delden, Grants Pass; Garrett Clay, Sheldon.

GOALKEEPER — Dylan Johnston, Sheldon.


FIRST TEAM — Anna Sours, South Medford; Jessica Reid, North Medford; Lacy Clark, South Eugene; Jessica Bath, Grants Pass; Taylor Housley, Sheldon; Carly Koplin, South Eugene; Rebecca Viets, South Medford; Jenessa Dewitt, Sheldon; Bronte Jorgensen, Sheldon; Rachel Fortunati, South Medford.

GOALKEEPER — Kendra McMillen, North Medford.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Anna Sours, South Medford.

COACHES OF THE YEAR — Lu Crenshaw, North Medford and Terry Fretz, South Medford.

SECOND TEAM — Sarah Chambers, North Medford; McKenna Storey, North Medford; Whitney Roline, South Eugene; Katie Gleffe, Grants Pass; Najelle Medina, South Medford; Cynthia McElmurry, Roseburg; Shae Yuma, Roseburg; Stephanie Pepperling, Grants Pass; Olivia DiBetta, North Medford; Brooke Strawn, Roseburg.

GOALKEEPER — Marah Baker, Roseburg

HONORABLE MENTION — Chelsie Heberling, Roseburg; Alex Kummer, North Medford; Kate Folsom, North Medford; Amber Black, North Medford; Madison Singell, South Eugene; Maddy Cling, South Eugene; Olivia Roberts, South Eugene; Janae Haggard, Grants Pass; Amanda Snyder, Grants Pass; Mariah Winstead, South Medford; Ali Kelly, South Medford; Melissa Boyd, South Medford; Carlee Houser, Sheldon; Macy Bothman, Sheldon; Stephanie Rolls, Sheldon.

GOALKEEPER — Annie Mohler, Sheldon.

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