Prep Insider Blog

All-Observer soccer: Country Day star wins player of the year

Charlotte Country Day soccer star Walker Gillespie
Charlotte Country Day soccer star Walker Gillespie

The Myers Park soccer team won its first 16 games of the season in dominant fashion, outscoring their opponents 88-6.

But the Mustangs’ regular season ended with two heartbreaking losses on penalty kicka to Southwestern 4A (SW4A) conference rivals Porter Ridge and Independence.

But instead of dwelling on a pair of close losses, Myers Park coach Bucky McCarley, the Charlotte Observer boys’ soccer coach of the year, and his team regrouped. Myers Park won its next four playoff games over West Forsyth, Independence, Hough and South Mecklenburg to get to the 4A state championship game.

While the Mustangs lost to Green Hope, 4-1, in the final, they still had a season to remember.

Charlotte Country Day senior, Walker Gillespie, is the Charlotte Observer boys’ soccer player of the year after the all-state forward exploded for 25 goals (many of the spectacular variety) and six assists this season.

Gillespie was the CISAA conference and NCISAA (4A) player of the year for his efforts.

Gillespie is equally as talented in the classroom, where the Princeton University commit boasts a 4.63 grade-point average.

First Team


Walker Gillespie, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.: All-state selection, CISAA conference player of the year; Princeton University commit led Bucs with 25 goals.

Samuel Bass, Myers Park, Sr.: All-American, all-state pick; Southwestern 4A player of the year had 19 goals, 14 assists for 4A state runner-up.

Jackson Youngstrom, Providence, Jr.: SoMeck7 conference player of the year and all-state pick exploded for 40 goals and 20 assists, accounting for more than 60 percent of his team’s scoring.

Patrick Fenton, Charlotte Catholic, Jr.: Southern Carolinas’ conference player of the year, all-state selection had 27 goals, seven assists.

Miguel Alvarez, South Mecklenburg, Sr.: Sabres’ all-state forward had 24 goals and 16 assists for 4A state semifinalists.

Isaac Haddock, Community School of Davidson, Sr.: All-state forward poured in 32 goals, had 16 assists to lead Spartans (22-2-2) to a 1A state runner-up finish.


Ryan Cowie, Hough, Sr.: I-Meck 4A conference player of year and all-state pick led Hough offense with 14 goals and 18 assists.

Patrick Papa, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: All-state playmaker had 18 goals, 13 assists for 3A state runner-up.

Chase Gilley, East Lincoln, Jr.: All-state performer had a school-record 45 goals and 27 assists to lead the Mustangs to their first 2A state quarterfinal berth in school history.

Dilan Esperilla, Newton Conover, Sr.: All-state midfielder directed potent Red Devils offense with 10 goals and 18 assists for the 2A state runner-up.

Kevin Pineda, Hibriten, Sr.: Panthers’ all-state performer lit up scoreboards with 44 goals, 20 assists.

Juvenal Cuenca, Porter Ridge, Jr.: All-state pick led the Pirates to their third straight Southwestern 4A conference title; also chipped in three goals, five assists as a standout defensive midfielder.

Shane Riehl, Ardrey Kell, Sr.: All-state midfielder led Knights to 17-6-1 record, co-SoMeck7 conference title, 3rd round of 4A state playoffs.


Matthew Rank, Providence, Sr.: All-state center back led Panther defense that has allowed 0.7 goals over the last two years; Charlotte Soccer Gala defensive player of the year.

Colin Perrin, Myers Park, Sr.: All-state defender led a Mustang unit that allowed just 13 goals in 23 games; also had three goals, two assists for the 4A state runner-up.

Grant Sutherland, Marvin Ridge, Jr.: All-state center back helped Maverick defense to 13 shutouts, 3A state runner-up finish; also chipped 10 goals, two assists.

Cole Knapp, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: All-state defender had 11 goals, six assists while anchoring the Cougar defense that had 13 shutouts.

Zach Case, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: Denison University commit, all-state center back led Hawks to NCISAA 4A state semifinals.

Jack Fisher, Salisbury, Sr.: Hornets’ all-state center back a lockdown defender and a big offensive contributor with seven goals and 30 assists for 3A state semifinalists.


Jon Joplin, Newton Conover, Jr.: All-state goalkeeper led Newton Conover (23-4-1) to a 2A state runner-up finish with 13 shutouts, also led his team to victory in penalty kicks three times this season, stopping at least two penalty kicks in each victory.

Second Team


Daniel Watts, Myers Park, Sr.

Jair Alvarez, Watauga, Sr.

Davis McBee, Gaston Christian, Sr.

Max Wright, Gaston Day, Sr.

CVan Than, Independence, Sr.

Luis Flores, West Iredell, Jr.

Wynston Johnston, A.L. Brown, Sr.


Logan Gilley, East Lincoln, Jr.

Boden Solomonson, Community School of Davidson, Sr.

Ty Owens, Gaston Day, Sr.

Carson Trott, Concord, Jr.

Hayden Brown, Union Academy, Sr.


Richard Gillespie, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.

Jacob Goodling, Covenant Day, Jr.

Jonathan Carpenter, Hough, Sr.

Ross Garrison, Statesville, Sr.


Josh Fuhrman, Statesville, Sr.

Josh Faulkner, Salisbury, Sr.