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For Fike High to do something it hadn’t in more than a decade in boys soccer, the Golden Demons needed top-shelf playing and coaching this season.
And they got it, particularly from senior forward Myles Cyrus, who was named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association all-state team Sunday. Cyrus, the seventh all-state selection in Fike boys soccer history, is the third under head coach Chris Mizelle.
That award followed the announcement earlier this month that Cyrus and teammate Kevin Mendoza were voted 3-A Big East Conference Offensive Co-Players of the Year. Both players were named to the NCSCA 3-A All-Region 3 squad, along with three Fike teammates.
“It was a bit of a surprise but definitely feel honored to get that,” said Cyrus, who joins Matt Cotton (2017) and Jamil Gracia (2014) as all-state picks under Mizelle, who earned the 3-A Region 3 Coach of the Year honor as well as the Big East Coach of the Year.
“Being in a class with those two guys alone is big and beyond me,” Cyrus said. “I was shocked and just let great to have made it.”
The other Fike all-state selections were Phillip Packard (2010, 2011), Austen King (2007), Connor Bedgood (2003) and Jay Davis (1992).
Cyrus led Fike and the Big East with 22 goals, to go with 14 assists, using his 5-foot-10.5, 180-pound frame as an advantage as the Demons’ sole striker.
“Physically, he’s certainly somebody that not every team has with the pace and size that he has,” Mizelle said. “He’s a tough matchup for anybody at any level.
“He does a good job at reading the game. He’s a great kid in the classrom and is a smart player as well.”
Cyrus, who is also a baseball standout for the Demons, worked hard in the offseason, Mizelle said. The work paid off as Fike won not only the Big East regular-season title and tournament championship as well, but also the Rotary Cup in August. The Demons, who were 12-0 against Big East competition, finished 17-3-1.
“He pushed himself. He comes and trains the way that he should every day,” Mizelle said. “On some days, when it wasn’t falling for him, he was still a threat and that’s sometimes something that’s difficult to come about in high school.”
Cyrus said he just did what was expected of him.
“I was just doing whatever I could to help the team,” he said. “I didn’t start the season trying to get awards. We had a goal in mind to accomplish and I knew that I was going to have to score some goals to help us do that.”
Mendoza, the Demons center midfielder who emerged as the perfect complement to Cyrus, had 17 goals and 19 assists.
“He knew what to do and we just combined a lot. He’s a good player,” Mendoza said of Cyrus. “He scored in almost every game and most of my assists were for him.”
Cyrus returned the praise, saying: “Playing with him is great. He’s a great player and a great teammate. He’s a threat with both of his feet and from all over the field.”
Mizelle described Mendoza as Fike’s “most technical player.”
“He’s just amazingly skilled with the ball,” the Fike head coach said. “It think what changed for him this year was his figuring out the game is the speed that it is and you can’t do it all on your own. He moves so well off the ball now.”
Mendoza and Cyrus led Fike to its first conference title since 2006, when the Demons shared the 3-A NEW 6 Conference crown with a Northern Nash team that had a sophomore defender named Chris Mizelle on the roster. Now Mizelle is thrilled to be part of Fike soccer history and hopes for more success.
“Obviously, it’s a pretty cool thing,” he said. “We had a great year but anytime you talk about coaching awards, it’s really a players’ award. ... We were lucky to have a group this year that did everything I asked them to do.”
Joining Cyrus and Mendoza on the NCSCA 3-A All-Region 3 unit were Fike teammates Jaylen Guillen, junior defender Mason Lee and senior defender Clayton Snyder, along Southern Nash senior midfielder Carlos Garcia and the C.B. Aycock quartet of senior defender Nolan Casey, senior forward Coe Jordan, senior goalkeeper Skyler Landers and sophomore midfielder Zach Naughton.
Cyrus and Jordan were all-region repeat picks.
Snyder, a three-year starter, anchored the Demons back line while Lee flourished as an outside, even turning into a scoring threat for Fike.
“He did such a great job of getting up and down the line,” Mizelle said. “He was a vital part of what we did attacking-wise.”
Guillen, who had 12 goals, proved to a viable third option for the Demons.
Beddingfield landed four 2-A All-Region 3 selections: freshman forward Apolinar Fuentes, sophomore forward Jesus Mendoza, sophomore defender Jimmy Mendez and sophomore midfielder Rogelio Ortiz-Flores. North Johnston placed junior defender Scott Sellers, junior midfielder Jose Rios, junior midfielder Graham Walston and junior defender Dylan Pitts.
Senior midfielder Jackson Stone of Greenfield was one of 11 players selected to the Private School All-Region 1 team.
The NCSCA teams are nominated and selected by member coaches, and only members are permitted to make nominations on behalf of players.
In addition to Cyrus and Mendoza, conference-champion Fike landed four other players on the All-Big East squad: Snyder, Lee, sophomore midfielder John Conoley and sophomore forward Gavin Wheeler.
Southern Nash, which finished third, was represented by Garcia, sophomore midfielder Adrian Flores, senior defender Tristan Rocco and junior midfielder Johnny Mendoza.
Fifth-place Hunt placed senior forward Michael Le, senior midfielder Kevin Moreno and junior defender Landon Gesell.
The rest of the selections to the elite unit were Franklinton’s Josiah Caronna, Seth Davis, Galen Day, Hayden Johnson and Lucas Martinez; Rocky Mount’s Garrett Craig and Luke Martinez and Northern Nash’s Aaron Gerlach and Parker Dickens.
Day, a junior for the runner-up Red Rams, was hailed as Defensive Player of the Year while freshman defender Oc Bolt of Fike, sophomore midfielder Carlos Chavez of Hunt and junior defender Rubinson Ochoa of Southern Nash were among those accorded honorable mention.
Repeating as all-conference picks were Cyrus, Mendoza and Southern Nash’s Garcia.