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Daily Times names all-area soccer players of 2021 fall season


FARMINGTON — Aztec High School senior Ashley Sexton and Bloomfield High School senior Jesus Jaquez have been named Daily-Times soccer players of the year based on their contributions to their teams and schools during the most recent season.

Jaquez, a five-year player since joining the squad as an eighth-grader, had easily his best season this fall, scoring 28 goals to go along with nine assists in leading Bloomfield into the 2021 State Soccer Championships, the first time in eight seasons the Bobcats had been in the postseason.

"He had such an important role in the team's success this season," said Bloomfield coach Scott Reid. "His leadership and decision making was a great thing to see."

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Jaquez saved some of his best performances for the recent District 1-4A campaign, scoring 15 times during the district run, in which the Bobcats compiled a 5-2-1 mark, good for a district championship.

In his four years on the starting roster, Jaquez has recorded 49 goals and 27 assists for the Bobcats.

"I'm excited how the season went for us, and I'm hoping that I can keep getting better," Jaquez said. "I really believe I can play this game at the next level."

Reid is hopeful that Jaquez will continue to improve his game.

"He's going to take part in some club teams this winter and next spring, and he'll keep working hard," Reid said of Jaquez. "If he shows the same level of commitment and skill, he'll do great at the next level."

Jaquez was also named to the New Mexico High School Coaches Association's All-Star Soccer Game, which will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces.

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Receiving honorable mention for the Daily-Times player of the season was Kirtland Central's Kyler Joe, Farmington's Andy Erickson as well as Aztec's David Miller and Skyler Bouren.

Representing high school girls soccer, Aztec senior Ashley Sexton gets the nod as this season's top performer. 

Sexton scored 13 goals and recorded four assists while playing in all 22 games this season for the Tigers, including the State Soccer Championships where the Tigers won their opening round match 1-0 over Moriarty before losing in the quarterfinals 5-0 to St. Pius.   

"Her work ethic has been outstanding," said Tigers head coach Leroy Nelson. "She's been well-regarded by the younger players and she's played a key role in mentoring them."

Sexton has been a part of the Aztec girls soccer team for three seasons, scoring 18 times in her high school career.

"She's definitely ready to play at the next level," Nelson said. "She will be a valuable asset because she's determined to overcome any obstacle in front of her."

Earlier this week, Sexton was named to the NMHSCA All-Star Game, which will be played Saturday at noon at the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces. 

Receiving honorable mention for the title of best girls soccer player this season is Tigers teammate Rheala Herrera, as well as Kirtland Central's dynamic duo of Marissa Henry and Jessina Garcia and Piedra Vista's Kasandra Funaro.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.