Mauston fell one point short of clinching a share of its second consecutive South Central Conference title, but the youth-laden Golden Eagles did place four players on the recently released All-SCC team.
Forwards Evan Jensen and Carter Messer and midfielders Sam Chisick and Gavin Gray all received all-conference honors, with Chisick and Messer both being unanimous selections.
Mauston only had two seniors on its roster and lost most of the starting lineup from the previous year’s team, which went undefeated in conference play. Nevertheless, the Golden Eagles nearly repeated as SCC champions.
“This, coming as my first season coaching these guys — they only had two seniors,” said first-year head coach Keven Randall. “So that was the big thing. They lost pretty much their whole entire starting lineup from last year — between graduating kids, injuries, people moving away and that kind of stuff — but other than that, I thought it was a great season.”
With only two seniors departing from this year’s squad and all four all-conference players returning, Randall believes his team will be well positioned to contend for a South Central Conference championship in 2018.
“I look forward to next season,” he said. “The competition will still be good and I look forward to (athletic director) Randy (Gyllin) scheduling some tougher tournaments like we had (this year) where our kids can get the exposure of quality teams and kind of see what we’re up against.”
“We’re bringing back pretty much everybody and hopefully we can get a new crop of a couple other kids,” Randall continued. “Hopefully we can grow as a program with a team heavy on seniors and juniors next year. I’m excited just thinking about it.”
The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 5-13-1 record overall and a 3-2-1 record in conference play. They defeated the Black River Falls/Melrose-Mindoro co-op 2-1 in the opening round of the playoffs before falling 9-0 to eventual Division 3 state champion Mount Horeb in the regional semifinals.
Representing Adams-Friendship on the All-SCC team was goalkeeper Dylan Lang, defender Ryan Wollin, forward Vincent Moran and midfielder/forward/defender Austin Schwabe. The Wautoma/Wild Rose co-op placed midfielder Jose Paredes, defender Jacob Schmidt, forward Stephen Dobbertin, defender Juan Paredes and goalkeeper Blake Rindahl on the all-conference team.
Nekoosa also had four all-conference selections: center midfielder Kendrick Kolar, forward Blaze Thurber, sweeper Orion Bredda and defensive midfielder Bruce Khang. These four players were the first all-conference selections in boys’ soccer for the Papermakers, who just completed their third season as a program.
Adams-Friendship’s Schwabe and Wautoma/Wild Rose’s Schmidt were named co-SCC players of the year. Schwabe, Schmidt, Moran, Rindahl, Jose Paredes and Juan Paredes joined Chisick and Messer as unanimous selections to the all-conference team.
Wollin, Schwabe, Moran and Rindahl were all selected to the All-SCC team in 2016 as well.
Wautoma/Wild Rose captured the conference crown with a 4-2-0 record (8 points) in SCC play. Mauston finished second with a 3-2-1 record (7 points), Adams-Friendship went 2-3-1 (5 points) to come in third and Nekoosa was fourth at 1-3-2 (4 points).