Conner Walmsley • St. Paul’s • Midfielder • Sr.
Walmsley was the driving force behind the effort to propel St. Paul’s back to the top of the Louisiana Division I boys soccer world, after the squad fell a year ago in the title game to Jesuit’s Cinderella squad. Unbeaten against in-state opponents on the season, the Wolves finished 25-1-4 on the year, defeating Jesuit 3-0 in the state championship match, but their dominance didn’t stop there. St. Paul’s finished as the top-ranked high school boys soccer team in the country, according to MaxPreps.
The Wolves senior finished with 12 goals and a team-high 13 assists on the season for St. Paul’s, putting on display his versatility and ability to take on multiple roles throughout the season. His 12-goal campaign was highlighted by a hat trick in a 4-0 win over district rival Mandeville in the state playoffs.
“Conner had a great senior season,” Wolves coach Sean Moser said. “Coming into the season I honestly wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to play him because he is so good at so many different positions. Conner is one of the best kids I have ever coached on the ball, so we moved him around a lot until we found a position to settle on. As soon as we decided where Conner went, everything else for us this season pretty much fell into place.”
Despite not leading the Wolves in goals scored this season, Moser said one of the best things about his senior captain is that he is just as happy to assist in a goal as putting one on the scoreboard himself. And his uncommon ability about finding different ways to do both made the Wolves a nearly unstoppable force on the Louisiana high school boys soccer scene.
“Conner actually gets frustrated in practice when he is missing his shots on goals,” Moser said. “He puts a lot of pressure on himself to be the go-to player.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
Nick Chetta • Northlake Christian
The mastermind behind the Wolverines Cinderella run, Northlake Christian coach Nick Chetta led his fifth-seeded boys soccer squad on a magical 2019 playoff run to the program’s second state title in four years after a 2-1 defeat of Newman in the Division IV title match. Finishing the season 13-5-2, the Wolverines’ impressive postseason run included a 4-2 win over top-seeded Episcopal of Acadiana on the road, the first loss in over two years for one of the state’s most renowned boys soccer programs.
“All the credit to the players,” Chetta said. “We are a high-character team that plays hard, plays for each other and more importantly, works hard.”
Senior Garrett Acosta, who had the game-winning goal in the win over Newman echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We’ve stayed positive all year long,” Acosta said. “That approach has led us to be the team we are. We may not have the best players in the state, but we proved we are the best team in the state in our division. None of us were selected for the (LHSAA) all-star game, but winning a state championship is much better than that."
Chetta’s squad got hot in the postseason after an up-and-down regular season that saw them finish second in District 5-IV to cross-parish rival Pope John Paul II after a 1-0 loss to the Jaguars on Jan. 15, but it came with a silver lining.
The loss to Pope John Paul II became the team’s turning point of the regular season for the Wolverines, as they didn’t lose a game the rest of the year, winning four consecutive matches to close out the regular season and tying Dunham.
Garrett Acosta • Northlake Christian • Midfielder • Sr.
Acosta led the push to Northlake Christian’s Division IV title, scoring 21 goals with 25 assists on the season before being named the championship MVP for his two-goal performance.
Jacob Bernard • Lakeshore • Forward • Sr.
Bernard recorded 19 goals and 22 assists on the season, helping Lakeshore make a deep postseason push before falling to Holy Cross in PKs in the Division II title match.
Dawson Bertram • Northshore • Defender • Sr.
A versatile weapon in Northshore’s defensive unit, Bertram helped the Panthers clinch a No. 3 seed and make a run to the Division I state semis.
Chad Cadiere • Holy Cross • Defender • Jr.
One of the best defenders in the state, Cadiere was named the District 6-II MVP while also scoring 20 goals with 13 assists for the Division II champs.
Michael Dufour • St. Paul’s • Forward • Jr.
While scoring 26 goals and adding nine assists on the season, Dufour also notched all three goals for St. Paul’s in the team’s 3-0 Division I title match win over Jesuit, earning MVP honors.
Thomas Dugal • Holy Cross • Goalkeeper • Sr.
The MVP of the Division II title match stopped three of four penalty kicks to seal Holy Cross’ victory while finishing the season with 19 shutouts and 16 goals allowed.
James-Preston Furman • Lakeshore • Midfielder • Sr.
With his 11 goals and seven assists, the senior midfielder helped lead the Titans’ offensive attack that outscored opponents 10-0 before the Division II title match.
Ethan Garvey • Holy Cross • Defender • Sr.
The University of Evansville signee put together an impressive senior campaign with 13 goals and 18 assists for the Division II champions.
Erick Gunera • East Jefferson • Midfielder • Jr.
With his 13 goals and seven assists, the District 7-II MVP led the charge for the Warriors’ offense that made a push to the Division II state quarterfinals.
Eric Lara • East Jefferson • Forward • Jr.
Partnered alongside Gunera, the District 7-II Offensive MVP added 13 goals and seven assists that helped lift East Jefferson to the Division II state quarterfinals.
Ashton Perkins • Jesuit • Forward • Sr.
The senior propelled Jesuit into the Division I state title match with his game-winning goal in the semis in a season with seven goals and five assists.
Luke Price • Northshore • Defender • Sr.
As one of the premiere defenders on a team with 11 shutouts, Price helped push Northshore to the Division I semis, while also scoring eight goals with seven assists.
Jacob Randolph • Jesuit • Goalkeeper • Sr.
The senior goalkeeper averaged more than three saves per game while recording 23 shutouts for the Division I state title runner-up.
Ben Schwing • St. Paul’s • Defender • Jr.
Schwing was central in the stellar St. Paul’s defensive unit that gave up just two goals in four games on the road to a Division I state title.
Chris Tadros • Jesuit • Midfielder • Sr.
The senior offensive weapon helped save Jesuit from an early postseason loss, as his assists created the lone goal that pushed Jesuit past Brother Martin in the second round.
Justus Windom • Northlake Christian • Goalkeeper • Sr.
The senior goalkeeper came up with multiple key saves in Northlake Christian’s 2-1 victory over Newman in the Division IV state title match while finish his career with 18 shutouts.
Janusz Wojcik • Newman • Forward • Sr.
The senior propelled Newman into the Division IV state title match with the go-ahead goal over Catholic – N.I. in the semis and finished with 32 goals and 15 assists this year.
Jose Castillo • East Jefferson • Jr.
Junior Duran. • East Jefferson • Fr.
Austin Dunlap • Northshore • Sr.
Alex Friedlander • Newman • So.
Zachary Gressaffa • Pope John Paul II • Sr.
Victor Harvey • Archbishop Hannan • Sr.
Nolan Heitmeier • Holy Cross • Sr.
Riley Ireland • Northlake Christian • Sr.
Jake Leger • Lakeshore • Sr.
Ian Lopez • Northlake Christian • Sr.
Emmet Morrison • Newman • Jr.
Chris Nicklas • Mandeville • Jr.
Philip Pearce • St. Paul’s • Sr.
Axel Rice • Ben Franklin • Sr.
Ethan Sens • Pope John Paul II • Sr.
Gabe Sims • Jesuit • Sr.
Luke Smithson • Northlake Christian • Sr.
Zach Stolberg • Brother Martin • Sr.
Jacob Torres • Jesuit • Sr.