The honors have come quickly for North’s fantastic freshman, as Sammie Gutierrez was named the Newcomer of the Year on the All-Valley team after a smashing soccer debut in 2009. Joining her in the headlines were teammates Paige Gutierrez, her older sister, and Katy Lipscomb, both of whom were named first team.

North finished 23-3 overall and won in bi-district before losing this season and the newcomer Gutierrez was a huge part of the success. Her excellent ball skills in the midfield gave the Lady Coogs a chance to put multiple goals on the board every night. She led the team in assists and was in the top three in scoring.

North ended up ranked third in the Valley this season behind Harlingen South and McAllen High; the latter group knocked the team out in area.

For Lipscomb, the award capped a stellar career in which she was named MVP of the All-Valley team last year. She will attend Trinity University in San Antonio to continue her soccer journey.

EHS got a second-team selection in defender Andrea Maldonado, for a squad that made the playoffs but dropped out in the first round, ending No. 8 in the area.

On the boys’ side, Econ notched a pair of All-Valley spots, with high-scoring forward Juan Pantoja and rugged goalkeeper Robert Navarro on the second unit along with North midfielder Wally De la Paz. The Jags won yet another 31-5A title in 2009 went two-deep in the playoffs before losing to La Joya, and were at No. 6 in the final local poll.