Great Bend High School senior forward Alex Urias was selected as the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, leading five Panthers on the all-conference teams.
After a 14-5 season that ended in a Class 5A state quarterfinal against WAC foe Liberal, Great Bend had five of its 12 seniors selected for all-conference accolades — Mario Espino, Fernando Espino, Javier Guerra. Jose Mijares and Urias.
Urias broke a school record for career goals scored, finishing with 37. The previous record was 33 set by Carlos Nieto in 2002.
“We knew he was going to score goals,” GBHS head coach Gus Prieto said. “Last year as a junior, he scored 17 goals. He’s one of the fastest guys on the team. He has an amazing shot with his left foot.”
The quick forward finished with 14 goals and eight assists this season.
“He played for the team,” Prieto said. “Usually with forwards, they try to score when they get the ball. He always looked for he best option. I think he surprised a lot of WAC teams.”
Joining him on the first team is Mario Espino and Fernando Espino. Prieto said he believed that with Urias making Player of the Year, Guerra was bumped up from honorable mention to the first team, but the list released by the conference does not reflect that.
Mijares was honorable mention.
Fernando Espino made a noticeable difference as the Panthers’ center defender.
“Usually, we receive nearly 40 goals per season, but this year we received 19 goals,” Prieto said. “He’s been doing a great job this year. He was a security player for us.”
Mario Espino, Guerra and Mijares were midfielders for Great Bend.
“Mario is really good,” Prieto said. “He has amazing skills, good ball control and smart passes. Javier was one of the strongest players at center mid that we’ve ever had at Great Bend.
“Jose played midfielder, but he played up a little bit more. He finished with six goals and five assists.”