2023 Daily Leader All-Area Boys’ Soccer Team Selections

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, April 8, 2023

The DL All-Area Soccer Team is made up of players from Brookhaven High, Brookhaven Academy, Bogue Chitto, Loyd Star, West Lincoln, Wesson and Lawrence County

Aiden Bales,

Bogue Chitto

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A junior, Bales was instrumental in everything the Bobcat (3-11) did this season for first year head coach Toby White. Bales did a little bit of it all as a defensive midfielder who could also move out onto the wing or up into a forward position. His ability to communicate with his teammates on the back end of the BC soccer defense was a key for the team this season.

Connor Brister,


A senior, Brister was a leader on a Cobra (7-6) that bounced back nicely this season and ended the campaign battling for a playoff spot under second year head coach Hank Jordan. Wesson won just two matches when Brister was a junior, as Jordan took over following the sudden departure of former head coach John Douglas. Jordan credits the attitudes of Brister and his senior classmates with helping push Wesson to its best season since 2020.

Cooper Creel,

Loyd Star

A freshman, Creel led the Hornets (16-7) with 16 goals scored this season. A repeat selection, his play was instrumental in Loyd Star advancing past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in school history under coach Jared Lea. Creel gets things done by playing at the forward position with the type of relentless effort that comes from focused training and conditioning.

Yojan Hernandez,

Brookhaven Academy

A sophomore, Hernandez was the top scorer for the Cougars (11-6) this season with 21 goals. Being named to the DL All-Area team is old news for the young forward, as Hernandez has now been chosen for the team in three consecutive seasons. Hernandez also had a foot on six assists as the Cougars won a first-round playoff game for the first time in school history under the direction of coach Alex Brown.

Carter Holcomb, Loyd Star

A senior, Holcomb helped control the action in the midfield for the Hornets (16-7). A team captain for coach Jared Lea, Holcomb scored 11 goals and was in on a team high 15 assists as Loyd Star made the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class I playoffs for the first time in school history. Strong with the ball and vocal with the coaching of his teammates, Holcomb’s leadership will be a big hole for the Hornets to fill next season.

Ethen Lopez,

Brookhaven High

A sophomore, Lopez broke out to lead the Panthers (13-5-1) in goals scored this season. Playing in a tough 5A region, Lopez flashed the marks of a natural scorer for coach Aaron Ayers. Found the back of the net for 15 goals as BHS posted its highest wins total since 2018. Will be expected to be an even bigger leader for the Panthers next season in a revamped 5A classification.

Ian Malone,

Lawrence County

A senior, Malone was a key cog this season in the center of the midfield this season for the Cougars (4-15). Malone was in on eight goals and also had two assists as he spent much of his time on the defensive side of the pitch for Lawrence County High coach John Floyd. Helped the Cougars qualify for the MHSAA 4A playoffs.

Ashton Ogletree,

Brookhaven High

A junior, Ogletree is a versatile midfielder that could flex to wherever the coaching staff needed him for the Panthers (13-5-1). A longtime fixture on the varsity roster, Ogletree was in on eight goals and had four assists this season or coach Aaron Ayers. His play on defense was a huge part of the Panthers knocking off region rivals Florence for the first time ever.

Gabe Selman,


A senior, the play of Selman as a goalkeeper was instrumental in the Cobras (7-6) increasing their wins total this season. Played with a relentless amount of grittiness for Wesson coach Hank Jordan and had one shutout this season. Was voted as Most Valuable Keeper by the region coaches.

Cooper Strickland,

Brookhaven Academy

A junior, Strickland stepped into an increased role this season and responded by scoring 14 goals for the Cougars (11-6). Strickland stepped off the football field and right onto the pitch to help Brookhaven Academy reach the second round of the state tournament for the first time in school history. Also finished second on the team with six assists.

Josh Thornhill,

West Lincoln

A senior, Thornhill was once again the leader for the Bears (2-17) on the offensive end of the pitch. It’s the second straight year for Thornhill to earn DL All-Area honors in his career. Scored 11 goals and was in on nine assists for coach Jeremy Johnson and the Bears to cap a stellar career.

Markham Williams,

Brookhaven High

A sophomore, Williams is another young player who’s already logged plenty of varsity minutes while suiting up for the Panthers (13-5-1). Scored four goals and was in on one assist for coach Aaron Ayers. A natural leader on the defensive side of the ball, played more on that side of the formation to start the year and thrived in helping the Panthers reach the MHSAA 5A playoffs.