The Durango High School boys soccer team had two players named to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 4A all-state selection when the teams were released on Tuesday.
Senior midfielder Leland Heinicke and senior goalkeeper Caleb McGrath were named to the all-state Honorable Mention team, as both had significant contributions for the Demons this season.
Durango, which lost in the second round to the eventual runners-up Air Academy, had another strong year in DHS head coach Aaron Chamepnoy’s second season, as the Demons scored 69 times, and recorded 60 assists.
Heinicke, who was named to the Honorable Mention team for the second successive season, led the charge in a central midfielder role, as he scored 12 goals, and had a team-high 15 assists. It was on par with last season’s performance, in which he scored a then team-high 14 goals, but only had four assists. He was able to adapt to a new role, and became the team’s go-to distributor. Heinicke was also named the 5A/4A Southwestern League player of the year.
On the other end of the field in goal was McGrath, who was stellar in net. The Demons gave up just 29 goals on the year, which averaged out to less than a goal per game. DHS kept five shutouts on the season.
McGrath collected two shutouts. He made 82 saves on the year which averaged to 5.1 saves per game in 870 minutes of action. The senior recorded a career-best when he stopped 22 shots in a 4-3 loss to Grand Junction.
He was not limited to a role in net, as he also contributed to Durango’s high-power offense. He recorded three points this season, as he played a large role in long free-kick scenarios. He recorded an assist in a 4-0 win against Evergreen, but arguably his most memorable moment came in the first round of the CHSAA Class 4A state playoffs against The Classical Academy. He launched a free kick from 70 yards out that went into the goal for the game-winner.
Air Academy’s Thaddeus Dewing won the Class 4A player of the year award for the second consecutive season, as he led the Kadets to a second-place finish and scored 27 goals and 16 assists. He was one of three Air Academy players who were selected to the first or second team. Skyview’s Justin Thomas was named the CHSAA Class 4A coach of the year.
No other Demons were selected to the Class 4A team, the Demons also had a few others who were selected to the all-conference team. Sayer Frontella and Moritz Rosik joined McGrath and Heinicke to the SWL all-league first team. Brayden Lyons was named to the second team.
Frontella led DHS with 17 goals and 13 assists for a team-high 47 points. Rosik, a foreign exchange student from Germany, also excelled in front of goal, as he tallied 15 goals and nine assists. Lyons was also key as he chipped in six goals and four assists in his final season.
Durango will lose eight seniors to graduation, but is expected to return another strong group of returners. DHS will return most of its back line on defense, as well as its leading scorer in Frontella, plus a crafty midfield that includes freshman Cedar Newman, Logan Stettler and Aidan Araujo.