Bader, Gonzalez earn first-team all league
Seven Wildcats receive second-team all-league honors
On the playing field, Nicole Radcliffe's offensive skills often caught the eyes of opposing coaches during the 2005 girls soccer season. On paper they didn't.
Unfortunately, it was the latter scenario that played out when the Northeast Kansas Soccer League coaches voted on their all-league teams to end the spring season.
Radcliffe could do no better than the second team despite being marked up in most games. Still, the freshman was able to score a league-leading 17 goals and tally a top-five finish in offensive points scored with 37.
"She never quits," De Soto coach Darren Erpelding said. "She scored a lot of her goals because she doesn't quit. She's like a sponge. She accepts everything you tell her."
Erpelding said that what set her apart from other players is that she wanted to become a better player.
"She's like any other teenage kid," he said. "She likes to clown around some, but 99 percent of the time she is working her tail off. "
Joining Radcliffe on the second team were fellow freshman midfielder Roxanne Grizzle and senior defender Maggie Saylors.
Erpelding said that when Grizzle learned to use her speed, she would blossom as an offensive threat. Grizzle tied Jennifer Hill for second on the team with six goals each. She also had four assists for 16 points.
Erpelding said Saylors was the glue of the Wildcat defense.
"Coaches wanted to attack away from her," the coach said. "Her angles were great, and she was a smart player. She was the backbone of our defense. I believe there were just two goals scored on her side all year."
Saylors, the only senior on the team, was credited with one goal on the season.
Jerod Bader and Kira Gonzalez were the only Wildcats named to a Frontier League first team for their respective sports. Bader was honored for his play on the Wildcat baseball team, while Gonzalez made the all-league softball team.
Bader and Riley Pierce had the hot bats for De Soto last spring after hitting .420 on the year. Bader also had a team-best slugging percentage of .565, scored 25 runs and walked 12 times.
Bader was also credited for a team-high 46 total bases, 83 plate appearances and had a team leading on-base percentage of .518. Bader led the team with four doubles and three triples and had a team-high seven hits for extra bases.
Bader was also credited for 16 runs batted in, stole six bases in seven attempts and had a clutch batting average of .481 with men in scoring position.
Gonzalez was the only Wildcat to hit more than .300 with a .319 average. The sophomore also had a slugging percentage of .522 and an on-base percentage of .338.
She had 22 hits, including two doubles, three triples and two home runs. Gonzalez scored a team-high nine runs and knocked in seven more.
Short stop Hunter Noe, pitcher Leif Goleman, third baseman Tyler Farmer and out fielder Taylor Burnett were all named second team all-league in baseball. Gonzalez was the only Wildcat mentioned on the softball team.