Texas will always be football country. Don’t expect that truth to ever change.
But there is plenty of room for the Lone Star State to be futbol country, too.
Globally, the game of soccer wears the label as “the beautiful game.” It works on a local level, too. Because right here in Central Texas, we experienced no shortage of truly beautiful soccer moments over the past 10 years.
So, we pause to reflect on them, with the introduction of the Tribune-Herald’s Super Centex Soccer Teams of the Decade.
— Brice Cherry
Leo Peralta, Midway
A native of Uruguay, Midway graduate Leo Peralta won three Super Centex Player of the Year awards, and is now the Player of the Decade, to boot.
Mike Chapman, University
University’s Mike Chapman, a six-time Super Centex Coach of the Year in his career, is the Trib’s choice as Super Centex Boys Soccer Coach of the Decade.
Kollin Kahler, Waco High
Kollin Kahler, Waco High: Two-time Player of the Year used bazooka of a leg to blast 108 career goals before going on to become an all-conference football punter at Lamar University.
Dan Escobedo, University
Dan Escobedo, University: After a breakout 30-goal season as a junior in 2010, he elevated to Super Centex Player of Year with 32 more goals the next year.
Ernesto Hernandez, Gatesville
Ernesto Hernandez, Gatesville: Born in Mexico, Hernandez found a new home in Gatesville, where he scored 75 goals and produced 29 assists his final two years, twice winning Player of the Year.
Jon Lozano, University
Jon Lozano, University: Bulldozer of a striker was a two-time first-team performer, netting 59 goals his final two years. He stood out as leading scorer for Trojans’ 2013 state championship squad.
Angel Hernandez, Belton
Angel Hernandez, Belton: District MVP and a Texas state all-star his senior year, Hernandez knocked in 59 career goals before going on to play at Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Mariano Falcon, La Vega
Mariano Falcon, La Vega: In 2017, Falcon spurred Pirates to program’s first district title while picking up district MVP and Super Centex Player of Year accolades.
Adolfo Rodriguez, Waco High
Adolfo Rodriguez, Waco High: Three-year starter led Lions to a district title his senior year of 2018, when he was the 18-5A MVP and Super Centex Player of the Year while scoring 25 goals with 20 assists.
Kevin Garcia, Mexia
Kevin Garcia, Mexia: Goal-oriented Blackcat put 75 shots into the net his final two seasons, leading the area both years. His senior year he won Player of the Year recognition.
Michael Solis, University
Michael Solis, University: Primary middle-of-the-field neutralizer for 2013 Trojans – they don’t go undefeated without his rugged defensive presence.
Adrian Barragan, University
Adrian Barragan, University: Goalkeeper for Trojans’ undefeated, untied state title team in 2013, also kicked the winning penalty kick goal in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Brianna Johnston, Lorena
Lorena's Brianna Johnston scored 144 goals in her four-year run, which is believed to be the Central Texas all-time record.
Ann Burnside, Lorena
Lorena’s Ann Burnside is the Trib’s choice as Super Centex Girls Soccer Coach of the Decade.
Jamie Boone, Belton
Jamie Boone, Belton: Boone turned in the ultimate breakout senior season, overcoming an injury-plagued run to that point to score 36 goals and deliver 12 assists, winning 8-5A MVP, Super Centex Player of the Year honors.
Kennedy Miller, Robinson
Kennedy Miller, Robinson: Two-time Player of the Year shook off constant double and triple teams to befuddle defenses. She went out with a bang her senior year of 2015, thumping an area-best 48 goals.
Kayley Ables, Waco High
Kayley Ables, Waco High: Before she was an all-conference defender for Baylor, Ables knew how to navigate her way to the net. Known as “The Beast” during her prep days, she scored a school-record 100 goals in three years and won Player of the Year recognition in 2016.
Maddie Miller, Lorena
Maddie Miller, Lorena: Called “fast, smart and creative” by her coach, Miller blasted an area-leading 38 goals as a senior in 2017, when she was Super Centex Player of the Year and, later, Girls Athlete of the Year. She now plays volleyball for Stephen F. Austin.
Kenzie Tuyo, Lorena
Kenzie Tuyo, Lorena: Another multi-sport star, Tuyo made first-team Super Centex three times in soccer, zipping in for 62 goals during that span. She’ll play volleyball at Henderson State (Ark.) in the fall.
Katie Burnside, Lorena
Katie Burnside, Lorena: Savvy communicator, two-time Player of the Year manifested unselfishness on the pitch, routinely setting up her teammates for goals. That included a 44-assist season her senior year of 2019.
Emmalie Albers, Midway
Emmalie Albers, Midway: Two-time district MVP, Super Centex performer controlled the middle of the field for Midway, combining for 31 goals her final two seasons.
Audrey Johnston, Midway
Audrey Johnston, Midway: Super Centex Newcomer of the Year in 2013, Johnston proceeded to a brilliant high school career. She tallied 78 goals and 45 assists in her four seasons, making Super Centex all four years. She’s now a senior defender at Baylor.
Kaitlin Muniz, Temple
Kaitlin Muniz, Temple: Twice a first-team honoree, Muniz aggressively cut off numerous opposing attacks, also led Temple to its winningest season in a decade her junior year.
Courtney Dippel, Belton
Courtney Dippel, Belton: Two-time first teamer built a brick wall around the net, recording a school-record 59 shutouts, including 20 her senior year of 2015.