• Val T.

Easy Pickens: Rochester star is RTC Player of the Year

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

It was a very tough call, but we chose Argos’ Teddy Redinger over Rochester’s Zach Pickens for our first RTC Player of the Year Award in 2020.

We faced the same dilemma this year, but we’re going with Pickens this time.

In many ways, Redinger and Pickens are similar in that they received the lion’s share of attention from opponents.

Pickens is just a little bit faster and a bit more creative as a finisher. They will both be missed by their respective teams moving forward.

The big team story as far as team achievement did not occur at either Argos or Rochester though. It occurred at Caston, where the Comets won their first sectional title in school history under coach Narciso Sanchez before falling to eventual state champion Westview in the Class 1A regional semifinals.

The game of the year was the Class 2A sectional semifinal game between Argos and No. 1 Fort Wayne Canterbury. Argos lost 1-0 in penalty kicks in an intense struggle against a phenomenally talented team. It’s not quite as painful as losing in a state championship game like they did to Providence in 2020, but it proves that Argos’ winning culture won’t be going away any time soon.

All-RTC

  • Zach Pickens (Rochester) (Player of the Year) – Pickens combines speed and strength both up the middle and on the flanks. He’s the best player in Zebra history.

  • Teddy Redinger (Argos) – Redinger is in the top 10 all-time in Argos history in goals, and he was able to score 16 goals this year without being surrounded by many other prolific scorers.

  • Jonathan Pacheco (Caston) – He led the sectional champs with 18 goals and was also a creative playmaker.

  • Kayden Brady (Argos) – If you saw enough Argos games, you probably could have guessed that Redinger led the Dragons in scoring. But would you have guessed that Brady would be second? He was a strong defender as well.

  • Jon Ruiz (Tippecanoe Valley) – Whenever something good happened for the Vikings, Ruiz was always somehow involved. He led the team with 16 goals.

  • Layne Backus (Rochester) – He was a team leader and a top playmaker.

  • Thomas Fierens (Winamac) – Winamac was a much improved team, and Fierens scoring ability – he had 13 goals to lead the team – and speed down the middle of the pitch transformed the Warriors.

  • Kurt Johnson (Argos) – His array of saves in the Fort Wayne Canterbury game alone was worthy of being named on this team. A top-flight goalkeeper.

  • Rowan Jellison (Caston) – Jellison was always making aggressive, north-and-south runs at the opposing goal, and it paid off for him in an 11-goal season.

  • A.J. Mills (Argos) – He was Argos’ top playmaker from the midfield. In his junior season, he seemed comfortable in an increased role.

  • Ashton Macedonio (Culver) – Macedonio was a team leader and an aggressive offensive player.

Honorable mention

  • Dylan Kindig (Argos)

  • Bailey Zimpleman (Caston)

  • Vladimir Bernard (Argos)

  • Mitchell Bonnell (Winamac)

  • Adam Maroney (Rochester)

  • Caleb Petgen (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Gio Arriaga (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Kade Zeider (Caston)

  • Alex Stark (Winamac)

  • Michael Richard (Argos)

  • Sawyer DePoy (Winamac)


RTC Player of the Year Zach Pickens


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