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A league of their own
Salem, Heritage rule All-Region Team
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Rockdale County has built a reputation for producing high-quality soccer players throughout the state and further evidence of this fact was documented with the release of the 2009 All-Region 8-AAAA Team.

Salem High School led the way with 12 players (eight girls, four boys) while Heritage was in the rear view mirror placing 10 athletes (seven girls, three boys) on this year’s squad. Rockdale County was a distant third with one player, who was added to the girls’ team.

The local representative receiving the top honor was Jordan Young of Salem, who was named the Most Outstanding Female Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. The senior, who will attend the University of Georgia next term, was one of the cluster of stars for the Lady Seminoles in 2009, scoring 20 goals with 13 assists en route to pacing Salem to the Final Four of the state playoffs.

"I’ve won this two years in a row. I was surprised because I didn’t think they’d pick me
again. It’s a great way to end my senior year," said Young. "I’m excited to be going to Georgia. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. It’s a dream because I didn’t think I’d be good enough to go there. It’s the best feeling."

Salem (18-4, 10-0) and Heritage (10-5-4, 9-1) finished atop the standings in the league placed the most athletes on the First-Team for the All-Region team with three apiece.

Among the First-Team selectees from the league’s top two squads are defender Ashley Parker (Salem), midfielder Taylor Gates (Salem), forward Young (Salem), goalkeeper Melissa Drish (Heritage), defender Lindsey Sutton (Heritage) and midfielder Constance Bates (Heritage).

Rockdale County midfielder Nicole Young was the lone player from her school on the First-Team.

The neighborhood females on the Honorable Mention Team are Emily Boggus (Salem), Shelby Boggus (Salem), Arielle Gunderson (Heritage), Shealy Kulp (Heritage) and Michelle Borg (Heritage).

On the boys’ side, First-Team honors were bestowed upon goalkeeper John Barnes (Heritage), defender Garrett Wallace (Salem), midfielder Tyler Peoples (Heritage) and midfielder Kwasi Yanky (Salem).

Defender Paul Bates (Heritage) took home Second-Team distinction.

Goalkeeper Trent Carpenter (Salem), midfielder Naveed Khan (Salem), defender Oscar Corona (Heritage) and sweeper Josh Alexy (Heritage) were named to the Honorable Mention Team.