Cory Bailey was a force for the Ellensburg High boys’ soccer team this spring.
The senior defender helped his Bulldogs (7-10 overall) to the fourth Central Washington Athletic Conference Tournament seed and the consolation quarterfinals after being nominated and selected All-CWAC Boys’ Soccer Defensive Player of the Year by the conference’s seven head coaches.
“Cory has been an outstanding athlete for our team this year,” Ellensburg coach Richard Opoku, whose side won the Sportsmanship award. “He has been a strong, dynamic pillar, he has been such a great asset keeping the defensive line effectively together, and CWAC coaches express their admiration for his talent. We are glad to have him on the team.”
Jesse Munguia, a freshman midfielder, joins Bailey on the first team.
“Jesse has been a sturdy progress throughout this season,” Opoku said. “We have tried him as a forward in some games, which he did well, but he has finally found consistency and has brought a great presence in our midfield.”
Bulldogs senior midfielder Jose Santana-Villa and junior forward Cole Sullivan are both second-team choices, and junior goalkeeper Rafael Gomez-Vilchis is an honorable mention.
Selah senior forward Abdurahim Leigh is the Offensive Player of the Year, and Grandview’s Adrian Morales and Sam Villa are the Coaching Staff of the Year.
Ellensburg seniors Cade Gibson, an infielder, and Ryker Fortier, a shortstop, are first-team picks as the third seed Bulldogs (13-9 overall) enter the CWAC Tournament championship game against top-seeded Selah (16-5) at 4 p.m. Friday at Yakima County Stadium.
“I think they’re the best middle infield as a whole in the league defensively, and, collaboratively, when you take in how important they are to us offensively,” said Ellensburg coach Todd Gibson, whose side outscores opponents 7-4.8 per game to the Vikings’ 6-3.7. “One is a leadoff hitter that is the best baserunner in the league, and the other our three hitter that barrels balls as good as anyone. What they lack in power they make up for with competitiveness at the plate and the ability to perform in big moments. Their leadership and commitment to our team is why we are successful with really a pretty young team by our normal standards. This is the second year in a row they are both All-League, and they are deserving of that honor. With all that said, they always have one goal in mind when they take the field and that is to WIN! Individual honors are cool and all, but they love to compete against the guy across from them, and if the stat at the end of the scoreboard shows us having more runs when the game is over, I really don’t think either of them care what their stats were for that day.”
Jack Morrill, a senior catcher, and Luke Sterkel, a sophomore infielder, are second-team choices, and sophomore outfielders Ty Estey and Garrett Loen are honorable mentions.
Grandview senior third baseman Matthew Suave is the Most Valuable Player, Ephrata’s Jason Laugen is the Coach of the Year and Prosser won the Sportsmanship award.