Four local athletes earn all-state soccer honors
The Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association announced its All-State awards for the 2022 season last week. Four Blue Water Area athletes were named to the lists.
Imlay City, Class of 2023, Defender, All-State Honorable Mention
Barragan tallied five goals and three assists and helped the Spartans to four BWAC and three district titles.
“It means that I really worked hard, and that was my goal so I’m proud that I accomplished it. To be one of the best in the state makes me feel good about myself,” Barragan said. “I can leave on a high note where I’m like, ‘Alright, I accomplished the hardest thing I had to do and I’m proud of myself for it.'"
Barragan said playing soccer with the Spartans for the last four years has meant everything to him.
“From the start of the season to the end, I gave it all I had and I’m really proud of myself and the team,” he said. “We worked really hard for this. It’s a bummer we didn't make it as far as we wanted to, but that's the game of soccer.”
Barragan said he plans to play in college next year and is in the recruiting process.
Imlay City, Class of 2023, Forward, First-Team All-State
Galiana led the Spartan offense with 21 goals on the season, including two in the district championship against Macomb Lutheran North.
“I was excited. It felt really good honestly,” Galiana said of being named First-Team All-State.
He said a highlight of his high school career was in the district championship against Lutheran North when the Spartans won in a shootout.
“In a sense I was nervous, but all the emotions just felt perfect that day. I felt like I played the best I’ve ever played in that game,” Galiana said. “I had my ups and downs, but it was definitely the best four years of my life."
Galiana will take his talents to Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing next fall.
Richmond, Class of 2024, Midfield, All-State Honorable Mention
Gil totaled 12 goals and 16 assists on the season, earning his second career All-State Honorable Mention award.
“I was excited. I got it last year as well, so I was kind of expecting it a little bit because I had a better season this year than I did last year, but I was excited for it and my family was excited for me, so it was a pretty cool moment,” Gil said of seeing his name of the All-State list.
“I put in a lot of work this year with dribbling. I got a lot better with the ball and faster,” Gil said. “I worked hard in the offseason from travel to be better for high school and this year in general.”
Gil, only a junior, will return to the Blue Devils for his final season next fall. He said he plans to play in college and has begun the recruiting process.
Richmond, Class of 2023, Forward, First-Team All-State
Matyunas managed 145 career goals and 55 career assists and was a two-time BWAC MVP.
“I’m kind of sad to say that [his high school soccer career] is done, but I have no regrets so that’s something I'm very happy about,” Matyunas said. “That was something I was worried about as a freshman, I wanted to make sure I leave here with no regrets and I think I’ve done that.”
This marks Matyunas’ third all-state honor, but this is his first time making the First-Team, which he said was extra special after having earned Second-Team last fall.
“Last year I felt like I should’ve been on the first team, it just didn’t work out that way, so to get on the First-Team in my last year, it means a little more,” he said.
Matyunas plans to play in college next fall and is in the recruiting process.
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