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Boys soccer MVP Rawlins Lupoli led SH to ‘best record’ ever


November 15, 2016

BOYS SOCCER award winners are, from left, Coach Huck Thomas, Austin Stevens,, Rawlins Lupoli, Noah Dinsfriend, Noah Webb and Coach Eric Stutzer. Coach Stutzer was voted Sky-Em Coach of the Year. He shared credit for the success of his team with Thomas. The group is gathered around personalized chairs given to the coaches by team members.

This year’s boys soccer team’s annual awards dessert on Nov. 8 was a true celebration as the Huskies finished their best season in the program’s history.

“Best record in Sweet Home history,” Coach Eric Stutzer said. “Fewest goals scored against them in Sweet Home history. First playoff game in Sweet Home history.”

When this year’s seniors were freshmen, Stutzer said, the team was dead last in league and nearly last in the state. They moved to 20th in rankings and third in a tough league this year and played in their first playoff game ever.

The Huskies’ strength was their teamwork and combination play, Stutzer said.

“We had a team that would step up together against tough teams.”

On top of its performance on the field, Sweet Home also finished first in the state academically among 4A boys soccer teams, moving up from 12th last year and the bottom the year before. The team previously reached the top of the list in 2003.

Among those at the center of it all was junior midfielder and defender Rawlins Lupoli, Stutzer said. Lupoli received the Most Valuable Player, Stutzer calling him “Mr. Everything for Soccer.”

“He’s probably been the heart and soul of the team this year,” Stutzer said.

Stutzer presented the Coach’s Award to sophomore midfielder and defender Noah Dinsfriend.

Dinsfriend set personal records in cross country while remaining dedicated to soccer, Stutzer said. He’s the kind of player who will never quit, even when he’s hurting.

The Mr. Husky Award went to sophomore forward Austin Stevens, Stutzer said. The award goes to workhorse players the coach never needs to correct. Stevens scored 11 goals this year, after returning to the field for the first time since the sixth grade.

Junior defender and midfielder Noah Webb received the Extra Mile Award, an award Stutzer has given just once before. Webb helped with the team’s community service, and helped the Huskies from a coaching and player standpoint.

Leadership comes first from serving, Stutzer said, and Webb exemplified that heart of service.

Earning their first letters were freshman Austin Parrish; sophomores Levi Hernandez, Austin Stevens and Noah Dinsfriend; junior Noah Webb; and seniors Sean Wolthuis and Wes Parker.

Second-year lettermen were seniors Quinn Dinsfriend, Oscar Hernandez and Tristan Graham.

Third-year letters went to senior Ramon Mateo and juniors Rawlins and Rowland Lupoli.

Alonso Perez earned his fourth letter.

Junior varsity Coach Huck Thomas said he didn’t think he ever coached a team that had to overcome so much difficulty as this year’s JV team. The team was often short, playing eight versus eight in one game. The other team had fresh substitutes to rest its players every five minutes.

“I don’t even know how to quantify what you kids did,” Thomas said. It was a tough season, but the team didn’t cancel it, something other teams did.

“We got it done,” he said.


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