Fredrik Troupe was as surprised as anyone to be named the Lorain County Soccer Coaches Association Division I Co-Player of the Year. After all, a few weeks before the start of the season, the Avon senior might not have been able to find Lorain County on a map.
Troupe, an exchange student from Norway, made a big enough impression in his one year of high school soccer to share the award with Avon Lake’s Alex Strimbu.
Troupe scored 18 goals, including five game-winners, and that was about all area coaches needed to see.
“I heard it would be hard to get an award because I didn’t play here for four years,” Troupe said. “But I knew I had a good season, and after every game the other coaches would come up to me and tell me I was an excellent player, so I wasn’t totally shocked.”
In his home country, Troupe plays for the Baerum SK junior team. His older brother Sebastian plays for the Baerum SK professional team in the second division of Norwegian soccer.
Although Troupe had previously traveled to Denmark, Turkey and Orlando, Fla., with his club team, there was one thing that surprised him about American soccer.
“Players in America are more athletic because most of them play other sports,” he said. “In my country, everybody only plays one sport so they may have better technique but they aren’t as athletic.”
Troupe said the adjustment to America has generally been easy in large part to the generosity of his host family, which just happens to be the family of his teammate, Jack Poyle.
Troupe said the Poyles have “taken really good care of me.”
A senior by American standards, Troupe will still have to complete one more year of school after he returns to Norway in June. He said he is considering coming back to the United States to play collegiate soccer, but is also hoping to follow in his brother’s footsteps and turn professional with Baerum SK.
“I have had some college contact me but it is still early in the process,” he said. “I want to see if I get a contract with a senior team back home. If not, I will probably go to school here.”
Strimbu is a first-team All-Greater Cleveland selection who scored 10 regular-season goals and was a four-year starter for the Shoremen, earning three all-county and two All-Southwestern Conference first-team honors.
There were also co-winners in Division II where Firelands’ Nate Yorks and Keystone’s Dakota D-Fox shared the honor. Yorks also earned a spot on the first-team All-Greater Cleveland team after scoring 14 goals to go along with 10 assists as a junior.
D-Fox was also a first-team, All-Patriot Athletic Conference selection after helping Keystone to a third-place finish in the Stars Division.
Oberlin’s Same Weiss, one of the state’s top goal scorers and a first-team All-Ohio selection, was named Player of the Year in Division III after scoring 40 goals for a team that advanced to the district finals.
Defense was served on the girls side as Amherst’s Jessica Sobotka won Division I Player of the Year honors and Wellington’s Grace Dooley was the choice in Division III.
Amherst coach Jim Fossie called Sobotka “a tough, physical, fast and smart player” who was a big reason why the Comets were able to run an offensive-minded system while still recording seven shutouts.
Dooley, a sweeper who also made All-Ohio first team, helped the Dukes record 13 shutouts this season and 31 over the past three years.
A pair of prolific scorers, Brookside’s Megan O’Connor and Firelands Jessica Zurcher, were named Co-Players of the Year in Division II.
O’Connor rewrote the Cardinals record book with 59 career goals and 27 assists. She also has the school record for most goals in a season (32). She was also first-team All-Greater Cleveland.
“It was a blessing to work with a player like Megan, who can truly do it all,” Brookside coach Zoran Cancar said. “She scores, assists, defends, leads and works hard. Although she was always beging double- or tripled-teamed, Megan found ways to come out of it and be successful. Brookside soccer does not turn into a successful program without Megan.”
Not only was Zurcher Co-Player of the Year, she also earned a spot on the second-team Division II All-Ohio squad after finishing her career with 108 goals and 32 assists. She was also a four-time All-Lorain County and All-Greater Cleveland first-team player and a four-year starter for the Falcons.
Amherst: Cole Plumb (midfielder), Tom Wesley (defender); Avon: Will Sharer (midfielder), Fredrik Troupe (forward), Jack Poyle (goalkeeper); Avon Lake: Alex Strimbu (midfielder), Alex Voloshen (defender); Elyria: Josh Lewis (midfielder); Midview: Pat Wynne (defender), Brad Urig (goalkeeper); North Ridgeville: matt Clark (midfielder).
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Fredrik Troupe, Avon; Alex Strimbu, Avon Lake
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jon Fitzgerald, Midview
CO-ASSISTANT COACHES OF THE YEAR: Gary Gonzalez, Amherst; Matt Johnson, Avon
Amherst: Nick Glowacki (midfielder), Phil Sheffield (defender); Avon: John DeMarco (defender), Niko Teledis (midfielder); Avon Lake: Ian Stewart (midfielder), Kane Adams (goalkeeper); Elyria: Grant Speith (midfielder), Steve Poskocil (defender); Midview: Kevin Grau (midfielder), Silvester Messiah (forward); North Ridgeville: Cameron Moore (defender), Nate Wade (midfielder).
Amherst: Tyler Clotz (midfielder), Mitchell Snowden (defender); Avon: Daniel Minotti (midfielder), Michael Smigel (defender); Avon Lake: Kyle O’Connor (midfielder), Patrick Smith (defender); Elyria: Tyler Cake (midfielder), Kevin Miller (forward); Midview: Ryan Beckloff (midfielder), Ken Ishii (midfielder); North Ridgeville: Alex George (midfielder), Chad Kisel (midfielder).
Brookside: Kyle Jones (goalkeeper), Brandon Kmitt (forward); Firelands: James Keressi (defender), Gus Tapper (defender), Nate Yorks (midfielder); Keystone: Dakota D-Fox (forward), Joshua Piotrowski (defender), Logan Priddy (goalkeeper); Vermilion: Chaz Hansen (midfielder), Alex Nunn (defender), Anthony Rini (midfielder).
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Dakota D-Fox, Keystone; Nate Yorks, Firelands
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ed Holmes, Keystone
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Kurk Ziegler, Keystone
Brookside: Brendon Jasko (defender), Chris Jones (defender), Florian Schulz (midfielder); Firelands: Tristan Clark (defender), Jordan Ruffner (forward); Keystone: Collin Fitzgerald (forward), Chris McKenzie (defender), Cody Rising (defender); Vermilion: Andrew Prete (defender), Joey Rini (defender), Shane Spencer (goalkeeper).
Brookside: Kaile Bauhof (midfielder), Matt Sheets (midfielder); Firelands: Bryce Bartolotta (goalkeeper), Jack O’Keefe (midfielder); Keystone: Tyler Rumpf (defender), Evan Valentin (midfielder); Vermilion: Josh Buchanan (midfielder), Justin Delaney (midfielder).
Columbia: Matt Zelinsky (midfielder); Elyria Catholic: Michael Saddler (midfielder), Tony Sanabria (defender); Lake Ridge: Eoin Mullancy (defender), Josh Schofield (forward); Oberlin: Liam McMillin (defender), Sam Weiss (forward), Storm Ferguson (goalkeeper); Open Door: Josh Moses (midfielder); Wellington: Joe Butti (midfielder), Tony Walker (defender).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sam Weiss, Oberlin
COACH OF THE YEAR: Matt Fox, Oberlin
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Berger, Columbia
Columbia: Viktor Thrane (midfielder), David Wos (midfielder); Elyria Catholic: Luke Janosik (forward), Ryan Medves (midfielder); Lake Ridge: Joy O’Neill (midfielder), Jack Spellman (forward); Oberlin: Sam Levine (midfielder), Jack McMillin (midfielder); Open Door: Gabe Sigmon (midfielder); Wellington: Ian Lara (forward), Jake Miller (goalkeeper).
Columbia: Nate Hite (defender), Wolfgang Loos (midfielder); Elyria Catholic: Gage Jarvis (forward), Liam O’Halloran (forward); Lake Ridge: Marc Ayad (midfielder), Devin Gabriel (midfielder); Oberlin: Morgan Bremke (midfielder), Grant Cadenhead (midfielder); Open Door: Luke Christofferson (forward), Noah Zalesky (forward); Wellington: Mike Dowdell (midfielder), Ian Farago (midfielder).
Amherst: Celine Burgos (defender), Ally Perkins (forward), Jessica Sobotka (defender); Avon: Nicole Chabot (midfielder), Emilie Wetzig (defender); Avon Lake: Christine Gates (defender), Sarah Nasr (defender); Elyria: Celeste Jones (forward); Midview: Taylor Ceh (goalkeeper), Kaysy Heyde (forward); North Ridgeville: Morgan Wade (forward), Samantha Wiles (goalkeeper).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jessica Sobotka, Amherst
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jim Fossie, Amherst
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Mendo Ilievski, Elyria
Amherst: Lindsay Sands (midfielder), Emily Varouh (forward); Avon: Emily Joyce (midfielder), Maggie O’Donnell (forward); Avon Lake: Kailey McClain (midfielder), Emily O’Connor (forward); Elyria: Natalie Benko (midfielder); Midview: Torie Benton (midfielder), Kayla Hirschfelder (midfielder); North Ridgeville: Kayla Zingale (defender), Kayla Wysocki (goalkeeper).
Amherst: Dominica Essi (midfielder), Julie Lacock (midfielder); Avon: Regan Betts (midfielder), Christina Petrillo (defender); Avon Lake: Catie Corrigan (forward), Alyssa Robinson (defender); Elyria: Monica Backs (defender), Abbey Ramirez (forward); Midview: Samantha Bauer (midfielder), Morgan Hamker (midfielder); North Ridgeville: Samantha Miller (defender), Sydney Ramage (defender).
Brookside: Hannah Sours (midfielder), Megan O’Connor (midfielder), Arianna Sanchez (goalkeeper); Firelands: Rachel Holowecky (defender), Alyssa Melendez (forward), Jessica Zurcher (midfielder); Keystone: Sarah Fortune (midfielder), Koral Kasnyik (midfielder), Jenna Quillen (midfielder); Vermilion: Ali Kowal (midfielder), Savannah Kuntz (midfielder), Rhema Nicoll (midfielder).
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Megan O’Connor, Brookside; Jessica Zurcher, Firelands
COACH OF THE YEAR: Zoran Cancar, Brookside
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Kassie Davis, Firelands
Brookside: Shyanne Pierce (defender/midfielder), Vanessa Vanzant (defender), Alexis White (defender, midfielder); Firelands: Brylee Jones (forward), Brandi Holowecky (defender), Jordan Yakunovich (midfielder); Keystone: Alicia Sadowsky (defender), Courtney Zelinka (defender, forward); Vermilion: Sarah Bartlome (defender), Emily Innes (defender), Rachel Terschak (goalkeeper).
Brookside: Christina Kebeiks (defender), Sara Porter (defender); Firelands: Becca Jackson (midfielder), Steph Wells (defender); Keystone: Paige Jameson-Foster (forward), Kelsey Yusko (midfielder); Vermilion: Jessica Burger (forward), Rebecca Terschak (forward).
Black River: Sydney Wagner (forward); Columbia: Blaze Pratt (forward); Elyria Catholic: Keely Birsic (midfielder), Jenna Ellingson (forward), Lauren Wisnor (midfielder); Lake Ridge: Claire O’Neill (defender); Oberlin: Judith Lesesne (forward); Open Door: Nichole Varady (midfielder); Wellington: Grace Dooley (defender), Julia Marks (midfielder), Kayla Sparks (goalkeeper).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Grace Dooley, Wellington
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tony Rozanc, Elyria Catholic
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Abbey Golden, Wellington
Black River: Elizabeth Rowe (defender); Columbia: Gabriella Loos (midfielder), Alexis Reichard (defender); Elyria Catholic: Kirsten Fehlan (defender), McKenzie Rozanc (defender); Lake Ridge: Gretel Thorpe (goalkeeper); Oberlin: Abby Hicks (midfielder); Open Door: Bailey Hamilton (midfielder), Allison Courtney (goalkeeper); Wellington: Brittany Evans (midfielder), Brittany Mariast (forward).
Black River: Erin Heilman (goalkeeper), Kelsey Holben (midfielder); Columbia: Kristen Bouscher (defender), Teresa Fudale (defender); Elyria Catholic: Danielle Dziak (midfielder), Meliah Roman (midfielder); Lake Ridge: Julia Bouzaher (midfielder), Gwenyth Szabo (defender); Oberlin: Jaclina Rush (midfielder), Alex Walsh (defender); Open Door: Quin Jackson (forward), Elizabeth Nedjadford (midfielder); Wellington: Janelle Pitts (defender), Shelby Cole (midfielder).
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.