The All-Conference 2A selections are in for fall sports, with five Camp Verde High School athletes from the football and boys soccer teams selected.
Boys soccer senior forward Nate Schultz took home the fall soccer season’s top honor as the Conference 2A Player of Year in addition to his pick as Central Region Player of the Year.
“He was never on a state winning team, where usually the player of the year is from,” Cowboys head coach David Miller said. “Being selected after a first round exit I think is fantastic. It shows how outstanding his effort has been the entire four years, how much of an impact he’s made.”
Schultz was also a First Team All-Central Region and Conference 2A pick. Joining him on both of those teams was senior goalkeeper Preston Maynard, heralded by Miller as the best in the state the last two years. He was second team last year, Miller said, simply because a senior was ahead of him.
Miller was also distinguished as the Central Region Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
“It’s fantastic, I think it’s really a reflection on the effort of the whole coaching staff. [Assistant coaches] Edgar Aguayo and Walter Orellana put a lot of effort in; they were key parts,” Miller said.
Junior forward Joseph Jones was a Second Team All-Conference 2A selection and First Team all region pick.
“We’ve leaned on [Jones] heavily and he’s only a junior. He’s very experienced and a good leader; we’re going to rely on him a lot [next year],” Miller said.
Three Cowboys football players took home state recognition, all on the Honorable Mention list. Typically players are selected from teams that qualified for the state playoffs; the Cowboys did not.
Junior Braden Schuh was selected as a defensive linemen while junior Dominiq Bruno in the defensive utility/flex spot. Senior Ryan Loza was the third, as a linebacker.
Head coach Jerry Rhoades did not attend the All-Conference meeting, but said that at the All-Central Region meeting other coaches showed their liking for all three players. As a result, Rhoades believes those coaches had a hand in them receiving the honor.
“Because they praised our team for never quitting. Those three kids always played so hard, both ways of course, so they got a lot of exposure,” Rhoades said. “They were involved in every tackle, every touchdown, everything good we did, so they stood out in their minds.”
All three were named First Team All-Central Region at their respective positions.
Schuh, a center and defensive end, and Bruno, a running back and safety, will be returning next season as big pieces for the Cowboys team.
“I’m real excited, they’ll be the anchors next year. Hopefully we can figure out a way to utilize them to get the best bang for our back,” Rhoades said. “Schuh is a center and defensive end, but we’ve got to figure out a way to put points on the board. Dominiq will play a huge part in that. We’ve got to figure out a way to get him the ball, get out of his way and let him do his thing.”