The Canes fell to West Hall in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs. West Hall would go on to advance to the state semifinals, however, and Cartersville was able to earn a 13-6 record.
Cass also was eliminated by a quality opponent when the Colonels lost to eventual Class AAAA champion Dalton in the first round of the region tournament after qualifying as the fourth seed out of their sub-region.
Woodland, meanwhile, was able to compete in a strong Region 5-AAAAA and finished with an overall record of 7-7 and a 5-5 record in region play. The Wildcats finished with a plus-five goal differential and have several young players returning next season.
Adairsville was not as easily able to compete in its region and completed the year with a 1-13 record, going 0-11 in region play.
Cartersville got the better of Adairsville and Cass in the inter-county rivalries as the Canes defeated Adairsville, 10-0. They also beat Cass 2-1 at home on Feb. 28.
Woodland also defeated Cass, defeating the Colonels by a score of 3-1 on April 4.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ross Pasley — Cartersville
The senior striker scored an impressive 17 goals to lead the county and also helped facilitate Cartersville’s attack. He added 10 assists, scoring or assisting on nearly one-third of the team’s goals.
“He’s been our leading goal scorer the last two years, almost about 40 goals total the last two seasons. He’s just been a dominant player in our region,” Cartersville head coach D.J. Paradis said of Pasley. “He’s an all-around player. He does a little bit of everything for us.
“He’s been important in how we move the ball the last four years. He’s played striker, midfielder and defender at times. He’s been a do-it-all player for us. He just takes care of business.”
Pasley ended the regular season on a high note when he broke out against Adairsville on senior night at Weinman Stadium. He scored four goals and assisted on three more in the win.
He committed to NCAA Division II Georgia Southwestern in April.
Kurt Moore — Woodland
Woodland’s talented sophomore goalkeeper recorded an impressive 150 saves, four shutouts and allowed a 1.6 goals against average. He was particularly impressive toward the end of the season, allowing just three goals in Woodland’s last five games.
“He is very solid and also talented in his position,” Woodland head coach Ed Guse said of Moore. “Everybody relies on him. He, as a sophomore, got almost 80 percent of the votes from the team to be a captain and we had seven seniors.
“He’s quick, he knows his position, he can read the play, can see where the players are going to kick and anticipate well. He’s just really, really good.”
Moore was selected to the Olympic Development Program Regional Camp in May, indicating a bright future for Woodland’s standout keeper.
Pedro Robledo — Cartersville
Just a freshman, the midfielder showed plenty of promise in his first year in purple and gold.
He scored eight goals and assisted on 15 more, which led the county.
“As a freshman, he just helped us move the ball,” Paradis said of Robledo. “He was someone that was difficult to mark and you had to plan for him, especially later in the season.
“He is very active. He’s fast, he’s quick, he gets everywhere.”
Reid Selton — Cartersville
Cartersville’s keeper recorded six shutouts this season and allowed just 1.5 goals per game.
“He played big for us this year,” Paradis said. “He missed very few minutes in a game. He was a big part of the reason we went to the state playoffs.”
Javier Alonso — Cartersville
Alonso played in the midfield and as a striker this season and contributed seven goals. He also provided energy at both positions that contributed to his team’s success.
“He was tough and he was tenacious,” Paradis said. “That’s the best way to put it.”
Zach Edwards — Cartersville
Cartersville had a prolific offense this season, scoring an average of over three goals per game. However, it was Edwards who held down the back of Cartersville’s defense this season.
“[Edwards] is a great defender. He was the heart of our defense,” Paradis said. “He kept us in a lot of games we could have easily fallen out of. He cleaned up a lot of balls when we needed to get them clear.”
Josh Johnson — Cass
Cass’ senior left back recorded 37 tackles, 24 clearances and nine blocks. According to Cass head coach Frank Kunf, Johnson was a disruptive force due to his speed and won Cass’ defensive most valuable player award.
“He was an overall solid player. We usually would match him up with whatever side the other team was trying to attack us from,” Kunf said. “He was just our go-to defensive guy. If we needed something to happen, he would usually make it happen. He was the fastest kid on the team. Overall, he was just a very good athlete that saved us a lot of times on that athleticism.”
Anthony Navarro — Cass
The sophomore forward led the Colonels with eight goals and added five assists, but also contributed with his versatility.
“He played every position on the pitch this year,” Kunf said. “He definitely is our leader on offense. Anthony has a bunch of great skill sets. He’s still young right now. He’s just now budding, but he’s probably our best athlete all around. He’s definitely the future of the team at Cass High. When we needed something to happen, a lot of times we would look to him.”
Navarro had a hat trick in a 5-2 victory over Pickens County. He has an offer to play with the Real Salt Lake (MLS) development team in Arizona.
Alex Martinez — Cass
Another one of Cass’ promising sophomore forwards, Martinez scored six goals and assisted on three more.
“He probably has our best ball control. His feet work is phenomenal. He just has ball skills,” Kunf said. “He’s probably our best pure shooter at putting the ball in the back of the net. We were trying to create more opportunities for him to get him more scoring chances, but he definitely has the capabilites.”
Erik Paniagua — Woodland
Paniagua was Woodland’s center back this season and was the key to the team’s strong defense.
“[Paniagua] fights for every ball,” Guse said. “He has great skills and controls the game on defense as well as he can bring the ball to the midfield and can create great plays.”
Logan Molinaro — Woodland
The junior striker was Woodland’s top goal scorer with 10 this season, but contributed beyond putting the ball in the back of the net.
“He plays for the team, helping by pressuring the opponent and opens spaces up front for the other players,” Guse said of Molinaro. “He has good skills with the ball and great speed.”