As well as the Mattituck High School boys soccer team played on the field, the Tuckers cleaned up off it as well.
After earning their third New York State championship last month, the Tuckers were among the major highlights of the Suffolk County Boys Soccer Coaches Association awards banquet in Holbrook on Monday night.
Senior midfielder/forward Kaan Ilgin, the most valuable player of the Class B state and Long Island finals, not only was named the county small schools player of the year, but he also was selected as the state player of the year and was chosen an all-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Besides Ilgin, seniors Paul and James Hayes and Kevin Williams were named all-county selections besides winning all-conference honors as the Tuckers, one of the smallest Suffolk schools, placed four players on the county-wide 46-player team.
Coach Mat Litchhult was honored as Suffolk’s small school coach of the year for the second successive season.
“It’s a culmination of hard work this year,” Litchhult said. “The guys are walking out with a lot of their fruits of their labor. A lot of kids got recognized today from Ben Knowles with 10 shutouts to having a New York State player of the year. It’s tremendous for the program. It’s tremendous for Mattituck.”
Ilgin, who will play in the High School All-American Game at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, admitted he lost track of how many times he was called up to the front of the room to receive a plaque, trophy or certificate. He also was named all-county, All-Region and was recognized as being among nine county players who finished with 20 or more goals.
“I was pretty shocked. I thought my teammate Steven Dovi was going to get it,” Ilgin said of the all-American honor, referring to the Smithtown West player who plays with him on the Smithtown Arsenal youth team.
Ilgin has said that he is considering pursuing a career in pro soccer.
Litchhult said that he believed Ilgin’s all-American honor was a first for the school, which has enjoyed a storied soccer history dating back to 1936.
“He’s playing in the all-American game on Saturday. That’s definitely a first,” he said. “I’ve talked to a few people and have been around — there’s been no all-Americans in Mattituck history. So this will be the first. It’s just an amazing accomplishment. “
Several other teammates received recognition:
• Team captain and central defender Paul Hayes was named League VII MVP, all-state and all-county.
• Senior defender Walter Jacob and striker Mario Arreola secured all-league honors.
• Jacob also was chosen to the Academic all-county team.
• Knowles was honored with the John Ruffini goalkeeper award, as he was among six keepers who finished with at least 10 shutouts. The senior accrued 10 clean sheets.
Litchhult has announced that he will retire after this season so Monday’s awards were even sweeter.
“I still think it is a just an amazing way for the whole thing to end,” he said. “Each year was kind of like a different chapter in the book. If you made a movie about it you wouldn’t believe the ending. We started out with a goal in the beginning. We fulfilled it. If it was possible after tonight, we exceeded that fulfillment.”
HONORS FOR SETTLERS, PORTERS Southold and Greenport high schools picked up several honors.
First Settlers senior forward Shayne Johnson was named to the all-county team and was a League VIII all-conference selection. He also led the team with 15 goals.
Senior midfielder Sean Moran, the MVP of the County Class C final, was picked for the all-conference team along with junior midfielder Peter Fouchet and Johnson.
Juniors Joseph Worysz, a forward, and Noah Mina, a midfielder, and sophomore defender Michael Christman were chosen all-league.
Defender Jack Dunne was chosen to the academic all-county team.
Coach Andrew Sadowski was named the League VIII coach of the year after directing Southold to a 10-2 in the league and 12-6 overall before losing in the Long Island Class C championship game.
Greenport junior forward Bayron Rivas was named all-conference and sophomore midfielder Eduardo Sanchez all-league. Rivas led the Porters (2-14) with seven goals.
Midfielder Robert Nicholas was selected to the academic team.
For the third consecutive year and fourth time overall, the Porters, coached by Chris Golden, were named team sportsmanship winners.