The Carthage Bulldogs placed four players on the TASCO All Region soccer teams for 2020 with a freshman and a goalkeeper making it for the first time.
Jacob Whatley was both the freshman and the goalkeeper for the Dawgs.
Joining him on the team was Shooter Stevenson as a back-to-back All Region player. He was also selected as 2nd Team All Region last year.
Junior Pedro Garcia was also a second-team all-Regional selection at midfielder.
Senior forward Nestor Hernandez was an honorable mention All-Region pick.
Stevenson and Nestor Hernandez were both named to the TASCO Academic All-State team this year.
“Jacob was a pleasant surprise this season,” Watson said. “He made some freshman mistakes, but he didn’t let that hurt his confidence and moreover he learned from them as the season progressed. He finished with 17 saves.
“Jacob’s performance against Henderson in a 1-0 dogfight is one of the best nights I’ve ever seen out of a goalie. At the end of that game, I knew Jacob was special. He made some impressive athletic saves as well as gutty tough saves that were made because of his hustle and intense focus. If he continues to work hard, stay humble, improve and learn from every experience in goal, he has a chance to play at the next level and help the Bulldogs make a lot more progress.”
“Stevenson has been a cornerstone of our program in his four years as a Bulldog,” Coach James Watson said. “A four-year starter and has locked down his corner of the field at outside back since we moved him there as a sophomore.
“He had six goals and five assists, and he’s deserving of all the recognition and awards he is receiving. Every characteristic I look for in a great player and a great teammate, I can find in Shooter Stevenson. I can’t wait to see what he is able to accomplish as a college soccer player and in life.”
Garcia had seven goals and 11 assists for the Dawgs.
“Pedro Garcia was the heart of our midfield and our most vocal player,” the coach said. “He’s capable of being the one to communicate to everyone and help conduct the orchestra. He’s grown so much as a young man and player when we had to throw him out there last year as a sophomore because of injuries.
“He can read the game very well and he has developed a toughness that will serve him well going into his senior season. I have extremely high expectations for him going into his senior year on 2021.”
Hernandez had 10 goals and three assists.
“Nestor is one of our hardest working player and personifies the term “hustle goal,” Watson said. “I stress that we will win games when we steal a goal because of second effort or flat out outworking our opponent. Nestor’s speed and relentlessness helped us stay in games.
“He is one of the most remarkable young people I’ve ever been around. His future is so incredibly bright, and it’s been a pleasure and honor to coach him.”