Perhaps no one meant more to his team than did Brian Smith, the senior from Union County. In what became a Cinderella run to the State Finals, Smith time and again provided clutch moment after clutch moment for the Panthers. For his efforts, he is named BLITZ Player of the Year.
2019 By The Numbers
- 22 Goals
- 5 Assists
- 49 Points
- 3.5 Points/Game
- 46% of Team’s Goals Scored
By the time the clock hit zero on Union County’s season, the Panthers had left it all on the field. Brian Smith had opened the 2A title game with an early goal, his 22nd and final of his Panthers career. Thomasville battled back, and won 2-1 after taking over in PKs.
Without Smith, the title run was likely never going to happen. The whole team was great, but Smith accounted for 46% of all the team’s goals, scoring 22 to be exact. He added 5 assists to give him 49 points (3.5/game).
Of his many highlights, he notched a hat trick to advance Union to the State Championship.
- Brian Smith – 74.5 pts (11 first-place votes)
- Javy Flores – 58 pts (6)
- Tito Diaz – 48 pts (1)
- Roberto Quintal – 22 pts
- Ethan Contreras – 16 pts
Voting included our 19-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts; 7th: 0.25 pts; 8th: 0 pts
History of Boys Soccer Player of the Year
- 2019: Brian Smith (Union SR F)
- 2018: Chris Keys (Lumpkin SR F)
- 2017: Dennis Pyetsukh (Dawson JR F)
- 2016: Dennis Pyetsukh (Dawson SO F)
- 2015: Brandon Lund (Dawson SR F)
- 2014: Brandon Lund (Dawson JR F)
- 2013: Brooks Fulford (Dawson JR GK)
- 2012: Jose Lara (Habersham SR F)
- 2011: Vincent Thomas (Union SR MF)
- 2010: Nolan & Sawyer Hemmer (Habersham SR F/D)
Smith becomes the second Union player to win the honors (Vincent Thomas, 2011), and is the sixth straight forward and eighth overall to take the award.
Looking Ahead – The Next Favorite
Roberto Quintal (JR) and Ethan Contreras (JR), both finalists, will be back next season and will likely be the front-runners early on. Smith and the other two seniors will be gone, but there’s always room for someone else to step up and make a run at it.