Best in state: Warren’s Miller named 1st team All-Ohio

After being named Player of the Year in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League and the Division II Southeast District, the only honor left for Warren senior Alex Miller was a mention the All-Ohio list.

The soccer standout can now cross that off the list as well, as the all-state selections were announced Monday, with Miller’s name appearing on the Division II team.

Miller led the Warriors with a whopping 40 goals scored this fall. He helped the team advance to its third regional appearance in a row before bowing out 2-1 to Bishop Watterson in the regional semifinal. Following the season-ending loss, Warren head coach Andrew Johnson had good things to say about Miller, who scored the lone goal in the match for the Warriors.

“He really came on in his senior year,” Johnson said. “His last two years, he played strong for me. He was a good center-mid. But this year, he really stepped up knowing it was his last year. He had 40 goals. That’s hard to do at any level, anywhere. He just gave everything he had. He was strong and fast. He was a lot for (defenses) to deal with.”

For Marietta, senior Jacob Holdren was named second team All-Ohio. Holdren was also named first team East Central Ohio League and first team All-District.

“Jacob, being a senior, really stepped up and played well at center-mid for us,” said MHS head coach Todd Morris. “He took on the role of a playmaker. His 16 assists speak for itself. He was an unselfish player, sometimes maybe too unselfish. We’d have liked for him to shoot a little more.

“This is well-earned. He really put things together for us and had a very good year.”

Holdren’s 16 assists led the Tigers, while his 12 goals were second on the team to Max Suckel.

Morris pointed out some of Holdren’s top performances this season, notching a hat trick against South Point in the opening round of the postseason tournament, scoring a pair of goals in a win against Athens and recording the only goal in a win over Fairfield Union in a district semifinal match.

On the girls side, Warren’s Raeli Barnes was also named second team All-Ohio. Barnes’ all-state selection comes after scoring a team-high 29 goals on the pitch this fall. She was also named first team All-District in addition to SEOAL Player of the Year.

Unlike Miller and Holdren, Barnes will return next season as she is just a sophomore, giving head coach Ekrem Eksi one of the better players in the area for two more seasons.