By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Nine of the 11 starters for the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' soccer team were honored with selections to the Far West All-League team.
The Bruins were the 2007 Far West League Champions and advanced to the OSAA 4A state playoff quarterfinals with a 1-0 overtime win over Marist in the second round.
In the quarterfinals, the Bruins battled with the Hidden Valley Mustangs, but found themselves on the wrong end of a comeback as they fell to the Mustangs 3-2 in overtime.
"I'm very proud of the boys," Coach Gabriel Anaya said. "We had an awesome season and it was a good experience for all of us."
Despite winning the league championship and dominating play throughout the majority of their games, the Bruins only had two players elected to the first team.
Senior Mark Aguirre and junior Linden Loren both received first team honors as forwards.
Aguirre led the Bruins with 16 goals on the year and scored all three of the Bruins' goals in the playoffs.
As a quick, powerful striker, Aguirre used his size and strength to muscle through packs of defenders on his way to the goal.
Just behind Aguirre in goals scored was Loren, who tallied 14 goals this season.
Loren is a very fluid player who uses his speed and versatility to weave in and out of opponents defense.
His pin-point corner kicks also helped the Bruins maximize their scoring opportunities.
Seniors Blake Peters and Juan Garcia along with junior Alan Freeman, were selected to the all-league second team.
Peters split time as both a midfielder and a forward for the Bruins' and led the team in assists.
With his powerful throw-ins, Peters was able to put the ball in front of the net for his teammates to score. He also used good passing skills and a forceful foot to dish out assists.
Garcia played center midfield for the Bruins and used his fancy footwork to distribute the ball to his teammates while scoring five goals on the year.
On the young Bruin backline, Freeman anchored the defense as the last man to face oncoming attackers before they reached the goal.
Freeman showed a fearless attitude on the field, never backing down from a collision and bailing out the Bruins time and time again.
Four Bruins were also recognized as honorable mention selections: senior midfielders Kyle Botnen and Skyler Shuford, junior goalie Gabe Anaya and sophomore defender Jordan Weichers.
Botnen and Shuford completed the Bruin midfield that solidified themselves as the best passing midfield in the league.
Anaya played the entire year in goal for the Bruins and only allowed 19 goals in the regular season which was second in the league.
Although Anaya played solid all year, he really came alive toward the end of the year, especially in the Bruins' playoff win against Marist.
Weichers was the defensive stopper for the Bruins, playing behind the midfield and in front of the defense, helping out both lines.
Weichers was a non-stop, aggressive player who was always first to the ball.
The only two Bruin starters to not be recognized were sophomore defender Jose Munoz and freshman defender Geoff Gowman, who both played excellent all year and thrived under pressure in the playoffs.
Coach Anaya was also honored as the Far West League Coach of the Year while leading the Bruins to a 9-2-1 league record and 10-3-2 record overall.
This marked the third year in a row that a Bruin coach received the award.