Boys’ Player of the Year Juan Carlos Escobar,
As a junior in 2016, Escobar finished the season with 19 goals and Conference 12 Player of the Year honors. Improving upon his junior year would be a challenge, but he did just that.
Escobar retained his title this year as 2017 Conference 12 Player of the Year. He played a crucial part in the Monarchs’ goal production and scored 28 times this season while helping his team to 16-2-1 record.
Coach Gabriel Hochstetler loves Escobar’s effort to find goals night in and night out.
“The biggest thing that stands out is that he keeps working and working until he finds a way to get in behind defenders and he’s able to find ways to score.”
As a striker, Escobar has great versatility, and he can score in a plethora of ways.
“He does it with footwork, he does it by working hard, he does it by following up; he’s gotten three goals off penalty kicks and free kicks, and he’s gotten goals of headers” said Hochstetler. “He also draws defenders, which allows openings for our other guys to get opportunities.
”Escobar also has a knack for timely goals as well. He scored the tying goal in a hard-fought game against J.R. Tucker early in the season, and he scored a hat trick in the Conference 12 championship to defeat Prince George.Escobar has been a terrific team leader for Meadowbrook the past few years, and his presence will certainly be missed.
Girls’ Co-Player of the Year: Maiya Pencile, Junior, Matoaca
In just her junior year, Pencile has made her mark in the state record books.
Pencile is the fourteenth player in state history to score 100 goals in a career and she currently has 122. In addition she is also the ninth player in state history to score over 50 goals in a single season, with 57 this year.
Such a remarkable season undoubtedly led to her repeating as Conference 12 Player of the Year, and more accolades are sure to come as All-Region and All-State honors are released. Coach Erin Kutsko says Pencile’s most dangerous weapon his her speed.
“She can really read the field well she does a good job of positioning” said Kutsko. “Goal wise she can outrun people; she’s so fast, [that] even when she’s being marked tightly she’s typically able to beat them with her speed.”
Girls’ Co-Player of the Year: Dominique Grubbs, Senior, Thomas Dale
Grubbs also joins elite company, having become the 15th player to score 100 career goals in VHSL history just five days after Pencile reached 100.
Grubbs finishes her career at Thomas Dale with 106 goals 32 this season. She was voted Female Athlete of the Year at Thomas Dale this year.
Grubbs is thankful to have had such a decorated career at Thomas Dale and achieved such an accolade.“It’s pretty cool being one of the few people to get over 100 goals, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates.”