It is very difficult to improve on a state championship season.
Unless you are the Brook Hill Lady Guard, who followed up their 2013 TAPPS Division III crown with an undefeated season and second-straight state title.
The architect of this success is Brook Hill coach David Collins, and the main orchestrators were senior forward Kendall Wells and senior midfielder Kennedy Rose.
All three can add another to their growing list of accolades — All-East Texas.
Wells and Rose were voted as Co-Players of the Year for the Tyler Morning Telegraph and ETFinalScore.com's 2014 All-East Texas Girls Soccer Team. Collins was chosen Coach of the Year for a second-straight year.
Robert E. Lee freshman Jazmine Navarro is this year's Newcomer of the Year, following All Saints' Allie Werner, who won the award last year.
Players of the Year
It is the 10th anniversary of the All-East Texas Girls Soccer team and Kendall Wells and Kennedy Rose are the first-ever Brook Hill players to be chosen Player of the Year. They follow Mabank's Savannah Henderson, who won the award in 2013.
The last TAPPS player to receive the top honor on the All-ET Team was Rachel Saunders for All Saints in 2008.
"I was so excited when Coach Collins told me I got this," said Rose, who recently signed a scholarship to Tyler Junior College. "That's bigger than just being all-district or something like that.
"I am glad it was both of us. I've been with Kendall since seventh grade and it was just awesome that we get this together."
Wells led the Lady Guard with 25 goals and 11 assists. She was also named to the All-Tournament team and was a first-team TAPPS all-state selection. Wells signed with Dallas Baptist University.
Rose turned in a more balanced tally of 13 goals and 18 assists for Brook Hill. The midfielder was instrumental for many of Wells' goals and also received all-district, all-tournament and all-state honors.
"I am going to play soccer at TJC next year for my dad (Corey), who is the women's head coach," Rose said. "Hopefully after I get out of TJC, I will still be playing (at an even higher level). That's my goal."
Coach of the Year
When David Collins began the girls' soccer program at Brook Hill, he never envisioned this. In the Lady Guard's four years, they have reached three Final Fours and are now two-time defending state champions.
Collins said all of the credit goes to his players.
"The job that these girls did was just tremendous," Collins said. "We were building for their senior year; that was the plan for it to all come together. Of course it came together for us last year when they were all juniors and we brought (almost) everyone back.
"I think it's a testament to them because they had their goal of going back to back. It didn't matter what adversity stepped in front of us, they overcame it."
Brook Hill went 19-0-0 en route to its second state crown — many of those games were in shutout fashion. The Lady Guard did not surrender a single goal in the playoffs, capped by a 2-0 win over Colleyville Covenant in the semifinals and 1-0 win over Austin Veritas in the championship.
That would be impressive enough, but Collins could've conceivably been boys' coach of the year, too. The Brook Hill Guard soccer team also reached the state tournament with an unbeaten record, but was stopped in the semifinals.
"We had a really good team meeting before we started the first practice and we talked about having good habits all year," Collins said. "It kind of became our motto. Hash tag habit. They never took a game off from practice and were never just satisfied with winning (state) as juniors. They wanted to go out as seniors on top and truly finish what they started.
"I am just real proud of my girls. It's them. They worked hard and made my job easy."
Newcomer of the Year
Jazmine Navarro not only set a goal to make the varsity team and start for Robert E. Lee, she wanted to garner an award at the end of the season: Newcomer of the Year.
"That had been my goal, really since I had started soccer in third grade; to be newcomer of the year on the all-district team," Navarro said.
Then she got an unexpected phone call from head coach Chris Woodard informing Navarro that she earned another award — one she did not know existed.
"This is an ever bigger deal," Navarro said.
Navarro is the third Lee freshman to receive newcomer of the year honors. Kendall Frizzell won the first-ever newcomer award in 2005 with Ashley Jones taking the honor in 2007.
Navarro began the season in midfield, but was not getting enough scoring opportunities, so Woodard moved her to forward. She responded with three goals in five assists down the stretch.
For her sophomore season, Navarro has bigger goals with an ultimate task she wants to accomplish before she graduates.
"I want to make the first team and be our team's leading goal scorer," Navarro said. "I want to go far in the playoffs, too. I am going to get me a state ring one of these years before I leave."
Tyler Morning Telegraph and ETFinalScore.com 2014 All-East Texas Girls Soccer Team
Co-Players of the Year: Kendall Wells, Sr., Brook Hill (25 goals, 11 assists; TAPPS All-State First Team); Kennedy Rose, Sr., Brook Hill (13 goals, 18 assists; TAPPS All-State First Team)
Newcomer of the Year: Jazmine Navarro, Fr., Robert E. Lee (12-5A Newcomer of the Year, 3 goals, 5 assists)
Coach of the Year: David Collins, Brook Hill (Led Lady Guard to unbeaten season and second consecutive TAPPS Division III championship)
Karina Trejo, So., Palestine: 26 goals, 14 assists, District 35-4A Sophomore of the Year, TASCO Class 4A Region II Honorable Mention
Makayle Traxson, Fr., Athens: 22 goals, 7 assists, District 31-4A First Team
Lorena Gonzalez, Sr., Pine Tree: 17 goals, 10 assists, District 32-4A Offensive MVP, Northeast Texas CC signee
Sydney Tiiman, Sr., Lindale: District 31-4A Offensive MVP, Lindale career leading goal scorer with 88
Gabby Meyers, Jr., Palestine: 10 goals, 26 assists, District 35-4A First Team
Esperanza Zavaleta, Jr., John Tyler: District 31-4A First Team
Bonnie Cotton, Sr., Whitehouse: District 31-4A Defensive MVP
Ana Solis, Sr., Pine Tree: District 32-4A Defensive MVP, 4 goals, 5 assists, TASCO All-Star Game selection, Jacksonville College signee
Ari Assad, Jr., Brook Hill: TAPPS D-III First-Team All State, All-Tournament, TAPPS D-III District 1 Defensive MVP, defense allowed two goals all year
Kaitlyn Adams, Soph., Longview: District 12-5A MVP
Bailey Swain, Jr., Mabank: District 31-4A MVP, 1.5 goals against average
Allie Werner, So., All Saints: TAPPS Div. II-District 2 First Team
Hayley Dumesnil, Sr., Brook Hill: 12 goals, 19 assists, TAPPS Div. III First-Team All State, All-Tournament, TAPPS D-III District 1 Offensive MVP
Alex Bice, Fr., Robert E. Lee: District 12-5A first team. 10 goals
Cassie Perry, Jr., Hallsville: District 32-4A MVP
Jasmine Garza, So., Chapel Hill: District 31-4A Sophomore MVP
Victoria Flores, Sr., Pine Tree: District 32-4A Utility Player of the Year, 3 goals, 5 assists
Lanie Bennett, Sr., Kilgore: District 32-4A first team, Angelo State University signee.
Danielle Harroff, Sr., Palestine: District 35-4A Defensive Player of the Year, 4 goals, 4 assists, TASCO Region III Honorable Mention.
Ariel Howells, Sr., Robert E. Lee: District 12-5A first team.
Jalyissa Hernandez, Jr., Kilgore: District 32-4A Goalkeeper MVP, 14 shutouts
All Saints: Megan Daviau (Sr.). Athens: Melinda Green, Kyra Robison (Fr.). Bishop Gorman: Brook Hill: Hayden Langemeier (Sr.), Janet Nwachuku (Jr.), Lily Cool (Sr.), Arianna Asad (Jr.). Carthage: Marlei English (Sr.). Chapel Hill: Vidi Garcia, Alex Payne. Grace Community: Hallsville: Josie Haltom (Jr.), Brooke Vinning (Soph.). Jacksonville: Kennison Chambless (Sr.), Callie Reagan (Jr.), Beatriz Romero (Jr.), Rachel Stirneman (Sr.). John Tyler: Jolenne Calleja, Kenia Delgado. Kilgore: Nichole Flores (Jr.), Daria Rossum (Soph.), Leslie Anya (Soph.). Lindale: Kristen Russell, Brooklyn Van Winkle. Longview: Lauren Hall (Sr.), Michelle Butron (Sr.), Aide Godoy (Sr.). Mabank: Samantha Gomez, Kelci Hill, Madison Holyfield, Meagan Holfield, Kayla Houston. Marshall: Anna Westmoreland (Jr.). Mount Pleasant: Priscila De La Riva, Elena Thompson, Jordan Day, Lurvy Lara, Mayra Villaruel. Nacogdoches: Nanci Juarez-Sedano (So.), Kimberly Campos (So.), Madeline Ethington (Sr.), Cindy Hernandez (Sr.), Alexandra Stokes (Jr.). Palestine: McKenzie Calloway (So.), Amber Gonzalez (So.), Gabby Meyers (Jr.), Astrid Sandoval (So.). Pine Tree: Alexis Beserra (Soph.), Lilly Cabrera (Jr.), Kalynn Hudman (Soph.). Spring Hill: Sofia Hadley (So.), Abby Hicks (Jr.). Whitehouse: Kamryn York (Soph.), Sammy Kodet, Savannah Melton, Lauren Morris, Lindsey Raabe.