Vitale named SEC Player of the Year for boys’ soccerFive other Panthers honored by conference, players also receive team awards
Mt. Pleasant’s Bo Vitale was named Southeast Conference Player of the Year for his efforts on the soccer field this season.
Vitale was tied for third among players across the state in total goals scored this season with 27.
He helped lead the Panthers to a conference title, which the team shared with Fairfield. Both the Panthers and the Trojans went 7-1 on the season. Keokuk finished 4-4, while both Ft. Madison and Washington went 1-7.
Vitale, a senior, was joined on the all-conference team by three other Panthers.
One of those players was senior Michael Alderson.
Alderson, the team’s keeper, had 100 saves this season, and his four years of experience in goal were a big asset for the Panther team.
Senior Brach Prough and junior Nike Phillips were also named to the all-conference team for their efforts this season.
Two Mt. Pleasant players also received an all-conference honorable mention: seniors Drake Martin and Liam Clancy.
“These guys had a phenomenal season, and were all key components to the success of the season,” Coach Neil Schmitz said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been where we were this season.”
Where they were was the state tournament. The Panthers defeated conference rival Fairfield and then topped Solon on their home field to qualify for a trip to the Class 2A state tournament in Des Moines.
They finished the year with a record of 13-4 after falling in the first round at state.
Like Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield had four players named all-conference and two given an honorable mention. One all-conference player was Roan Bachar, who was second in the state in goals scored with 29.
Keokuk had two all-conference players, while Washington and Ft. Madison each had one. Keokuk and Ft. Madison had two players given an honorable mention, and Washington had one. The Panthers held their end-of-the-year awards banquet this week, and some players were recognized with special awards.
Vitale was named most valuable player, and Prough received the “Best Teammate” award.
Josh Stott took home two awards: “Most Improved” and “Player to Watch.”
Alderson got the Panther award.
Many of the Panthers who will be playing next year will be spending some time with their teammates this summer at the Summer Soccer Showcase at the RecPlex in Burlington.
The Panthers will play two games on Friday, June 14 (1 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.) and they are scheduled for one game on Saturday, June 15 (9:45 a.m.).