Senior Jenn Philippon, who scored 20 goals and had eight assists, was named the District Player of the Year to highlight the honors directed toward the General girls, who enjoyed a 14-3-3 campaign while winning the Ohio Cardinal Conference, which helped coach Les Wudarzewski earn the girls Coach of the Year. Philippon's POY selection placed her in the running for All-Ohio honors.
On the boys side, senior David O'Donnell was one of four Generals to earn All-District honors, as he was also a first-team pick.
For the girls, Annalise Battig, Staci Hackett and fullback Sarah Mason were named First-Team All-District. Beth Courson, Gabby Cicolani and Sydney Sleek were second-team selections, while Ashley Jolly and Cassie Wint were honorable mention picks. For the boys, Matt King-Smith was a second-team selection, with honorable mention going to Nick Coppola and George Kulka.
"That gives Jenn the ability to go for All-Ohio honors and now everything is out of our hands," said Wudarzewski. "The coaches in the biggest schools in Ohio are going to be voting and nobody is going to know until after the State finals.
"It was not even a question with Jenn – all the coaches said Philippon, even coaches who have never seen her before, after my introduction. All of them gave her the highest points as a player. The truth is, nobody in the district or OCC challenged her as the best player.
"Anna (10 goals, five assists) is maturing as a player and other teams and coaches recognize that, too. Jenn is definitely the player, but second in the eyes of other coaches is Anna. She can be a handful for a midfielder to handle. When she gets going, she's physical and has a great shot. Some of the goals she scored for us were ridiculous. The winning goal against Copley was great.
"This was the first time for Staci to be on the district's first team. What a difference she's made since her freshman or sophomore year. Her maturity as a player and definitely as a leader came through her senior year and our players look up to her, especially the younger ones. She's not only a good leader, but a good friend. I don't know anyone who doesn't like Staci. She is coachable and made huge saves for us.
"Sarah is one of those players who is very quiet but gets the job done. She might not be the flashiest player, but she rarely makes mistakes and if it does happen once, it doesn't happen again. She deserves to be on that first-team all-district team."
O'Donnell highlighted the boys all-district performance with his second district award and was equally deserving according to head coach Brian Hansen.
"David was first-team as well last year," said Hansen. "I give it to the coaches we have in the OCC to not only stick up (for OCC opponents), but they have a lot of credibility … when someone gives up their own time to speak about someone else. We're all very fair, although it can get cutthroat at times.
"As a coach, you love to see someone grow up. David has grown into a fantastic individual and he's very representative of our program on and off the field. He brought along the young guys through a 4-12-1 season and he busted his butt on the field, trying to get the guys pumped up and ready to go. He never quit and you can't ask more from a leader than that.
"It will be weird not having him around – all the seniors. It's part of why you coach, to watch guys grow up and into young men going into college. I like being part of that process."
Published: November 9, 2011