by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
The first trip to the NJCAA Division I National Soccer Tournament has produced a record number of post-season honors for the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Led by head coach Ruben Rodriguez and sophomore defender Leonardo Da Silva, four Blue Devils were named to the NJCAA All-Region VI team and eight received All-Jayhawk East recognition.
Rodriguez was named Jayhawk Coach of the Year and Da Silva the Defensive Player of the Year, the first KCKCC recipients ever of the prestigious awards and capped the best soccer season in college history.
The Blue Devils were ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA, the first time ever in the Top 20, after winning the Region VI and Plains District championships on the way to the national tournament.
Three Blue Devils, forward Guilherme Grave, midfielder Ricardo Angelo and Da Silva, were named to the All-Region VI first team while defender Frano Buhovar was selected to the second team. All are sophomores with the exception of Buhovar.
Giovanni Calderon, a sophomore midfielder from JC Harmon, joined Da Salva, Grave, Angelo and Buhova on the All-Jayhawk first team while two other Harmon graduates, sophomore defender Emmanuel Hernandez and sophomore Mario Sandoval were named to the All-Jayhawk second team along with forward Reed Axthelm.