WRITER’S NOTE: This story is part of a series highlighting The Monitor’s boys soccer all-area award winners. The Monitor’s coverage area ranges from Mercedes to Roma. Check back throughout the week as we reveal the Upper Valley’s other superlative winners and be sure to pick up a copy of Saturday’s newspaper for a complete list of the all-area winners. 

Edinburg North’s Kenneth Reyes entered last season with high expectations following a breakout sophomore campaign.

Before Reyes could really get going, the Cougars’ defender suffered a meniscus injury that would sideline him for all but two games.

Reyes came back with a vengeance this season, reestablishing himself as one of the RGV’s top defenders while anchoring a stout Edinburg North defense. His impact on the pitch earned him District 31-6A’s top honor this year, nabbing the MVP award, an honor which is historically given to offensive players.

For his lockdown defense and role in leading the Cougars to the Region IV-6A finals, Reyes is The Monitor’s 2024 All-Area Boys Soccer Defensive Player of the Year.

Edinburg North’s Kenneth Reyes is The Monitor’s 2024 All-Area Boys Soccer Defensive Player of the Year. (Sixtum Pictures | Special to RGVSports)

“It is an amazing accomplishment to be honest,” Reyes said. “Last year I was hurt and had to miss most of the season. To come back and be able to win this award, it just means a lot. Really, I struggled with my injury mentally. Luckily with the help of my family and my coach I was able to come back and make this year the best year.”

Reyes served as the linchpin in Edinburg North’s stout defense, which allowed less than one goal per game during district play.

The Reyes-anchored back line were a nightmare for opposing attackers, allowing more than one goal just twice during district play.

During that stretch was a eight-game winning streak by the Cougars in which they allowed just two goals, outscoring opponents 29-2.

Edinburg North’s Kenneth Reyes is The Monitor’s 2024 All-Area Boys Soccer Defensive Player of the Year. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor)

“Being the captain, I had to be vocal with my teammates,” Reyes said. “I had to support them. If we didn’t have the ball, we were all defenders and find the ball. Once we get the ball, we all go on the offensive and find our lines as we attack the other way.”

Edinburg North’s stout defense helped pave the way to the Cougars’ third district title under head coach Elias Moran, finishing with a 8-2-0 mark during district play.

The same defensive effort was on display during Edinburg North’s run to the Region IV-6A championship game, outscoring opponents 13-3 before seeing their season end in the fifth round to Austin Vandergrift.

The Cougars’ regional final run tied the furthest playoff run in Edinburg North history, reaching the fifth round for the first time since 2017.

Edinburg North’s Kenneth Reyes is The Monitor’s 2024 All-Area Boys Soccer Defensive Player of the Year. (Andrew Cordero | Special to RGVSports)

“The difference from previous years was the closeness of the team,” Reyes said. “We all got along with no problems. Being a part of this team, it makes me proud to see how far we came. I always told my teammates no matter where we lost, I was proud to be part of Edinburg North.”

 

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