The Kansas City Star has released their All-Metro soccer team announcement. The team is led by midfielder Ray Saari, Oak Park Northmen. Saari was also named All-American and the Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year. Saari was diagnosed with testicular cancer on Nov. 19, 2010 when he was 16 years old but has returned at an even higher level. He finished his career at Oak Park with 73 goals and 68 assists.
He will continue his soccer career at Tulsa, a Division I program that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in November. Read more here about Ray and see the full list.
Isaac Benner, Smithville, senior. The focal point of an offense that led Smithville to the Missouri Class 2 state tournament, Benner set a school record with 45 goals. He finished his career as a two-time all-state selection and was named the region’s player of the year by Missouri coaches.
Steven Enna, St. James Academy, junior. Foregoing his spot with the Sporting Kansas City Academy, Enna led the Thunder with 19 goals and 10 assists despite drawing constant double- and triple-teams from opposing defenses and battling mononucleosis the last half of the season. Selected first-team All-Kansas 4A.
Michael Panarisi, Lee’s Summit North, senior. The Broncos were the state’s top-ranked team for much of the regular season, and Panarisi was a big reason why. He netted 39 goals in 24 games, running away with the conference’s offensive player of the year award. Panarisi will attend Rockhurst University on a soccer scholarship.
Tyler Rathbun, Shawnee Mission , senior. The Sunflower League and Northeast regional offensive player of the year, Rathbun helped the Lancers to a fourth-place finish at the Kansas 6A state tournament with 22 goals and nine assists. Tragically, Rathbun, a first-team all-state selection who was weighing an offer from UMKC, died Nov. 25 in an ATV wreck.
Ray Saari, Oak Park, senior. An NSCAA All-America selection, Saari scored 29 goals and added 13 assists, bringing his career totals to 73 goals and 68 assists. Missouri coaches selected Saari as the offensive player of the year in the state. He is attending Tulsa on a soccer scholarship next fall.
Aidan Kuhls, Bishop Miege, senior. Selected All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American, Kuhls powered the Stags to the Kansas 5A state championship with team-highs in goals (16) and assists (13) last season. Chosen as the East Kansas League co-midfielder of the year and the Northeast Kansas 5A regional player of the year.
Clay Stewart, Olathe South, senior. Stewart, who signed with UMKC, finished with 12 goals and nine assists in 13 games as a center midfielder. He also started several games at centerback due to injury, Stewart, who was selected for the High School All-America Game, gave up a spot in the Sporting Kansas City Academy to finish his career with the Falcons as a two-time all-state selection.
Brendan Marquart, Rockhurst, senior. The fourth-place finishers in Missouri Class 3, Rockhurst relied heavily on its defense. Marquart was the reliable cog in that unit, which earned 15 shutouts despite playing a tough schedule that included five nationally-ranked opponents. Marquart added four goals and five assists.
Brandon Ramirez, Bishop Miege, sophomore. The only sophomore selected to the NSCAA All-Midwest Region team, Ramirez also was chosen as the Northeast Kansas 5A regional defensive player of the year. He keyed a defense that posted 10 shutouts and conceded only 17 goals during an 18-2-1 campaign that ended with the Kansas 5A state championship. Scored four goals with seven assists.
Adam Weatherly, Park Hill South, senior. A team that struggled at times to score goals, Park Hill South still won 22 games thanks to a reliable defense led by Weatherly, a first-team all-state selection. He added to the offensive attack with seven goals and six assists. Four of the seven goals were game-winning scores.
Kyle Gress, St. Thomas Aquinas, senior. Selected first-team all-league and all-state, Gress was the East Kansas League’s goalkeeper of the year again and played in the High School All-America Game. He posted a 0.94 goals-against average and has committed to Marquette.
Read more to see the full list.