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Heritage players big part of all-region soccer teams

CONYERS -- It was another successful season for the Heritage soccer program, and that success was reflected on the recently announced all-Region 8-AAAAA teams.

Heritage, which had its girls team reach the first round of the state playoffs for the sixth consecutive season and its boys team reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2007, put eight players on the girls team and 10 on the boys team.

Chad Suddeth was named the region's girls coach of the year, while the junior trio of goalkeeper Mady Carter, midfielder Ally Silvey and defender Abbey Dunlop were first-team selections. Junior defender Ray Brown and sophomore midfielder Kaley Wells made the second team, while freshmen forwards Sara Boggus and Faith Shelton and sophomore midfielder Haley Elliot were honorable mention selections.

"I'm very thankful and proud that Heritage was so well represented again in the region, especially considering this was supposed to be a bit of rebuilding year for us," Suddeth said. "It's always nice to see the players recognized for the hard work and sacrifice that they devote to the game. It's even better news to think we have every one of those players back playing for us next year. Now that's exciting."

The Heritage boys had their finest season in six years, winning 14 games and coming within a loss in penalty kicks to Lakeside-DeKalb from appearing in the state quarterfinals. The senior-dominated Patriots had a trio of players make the first team in their final season: defenders Delvin Bickham and Tyler Weaver and midfielder Harrison Kulp. Two other senior defenders, Grant Crain and Will Boggus, were honored on the second team, along with sophomores Andre Deas, a midfielder, and Austin Kulp, a forward. Senior midfielders Juan Villanueva and Jeffrey Lawson and freshman Connor Domeleski were honorable mention selections.

The Salem boys, who finished 8-6-2, had two players make the second team -- junior forward Rico Pope and sophomore midfielder Daniel Rodriguez -- along with honorable mention seniors Christian Colin, a midfielder, and goalkeeper Kai Uchimura, and junior defender Tyler McEwan.

The Salem girls, who struggled to a 3-11-1 record, had senior goalkeeper Sydni Booker named an honorable mention selection.