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Aztec girls, Miyamura boys lead postseason awards

(Editor’s note: The Navajo Times All-Stars for football will be released in next week’s issue.)


The district titles in the prep soccer scene came down to the final week with the Aztec girls and Miyamura boys winning those respective titles.

Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
Aztec head coach Leroy Nelson high-fives Lady Tiger goalie Marissa Day on Oct. 6 in Gallup. Nelson was tabbed the Times’ Coach of the Year.

The Lady Tigers went 9-1 under head coach Leroy Nelson and the Patriots compiled a 7-1 record with Ralph Castaneda at the helm.

Both coaches were named the Times’ Coach of the Year for the 2022 season.

“Wow,” Castaneda said on Monday. “First off, I’m kind of shocked. “This is amazing, but I don’t do this for the awards, so it’s an honor.”

Both teams made the state playoffs with Miyamura losing to No. 7 Albuquerque Highland 10-0 in the first round while Aztec reached the state quarterfinals.

The Tigers beat No. 11 seed Los Lunas Valencia 1-0 before falling short to No. 3 seed St. Pius by a 3-0 count.

“It’s just a privilege for me to be coaching these kids,” Nelson said. “I feel real honored to be the coach of the year and that’s great news.”

The two squads had a few playmakers on their respective squads and they were recognized as players of the year.

Miyamura junior Mateo Herrera earned that distinction for the boys and Aztec freshman Autumn Villanueva for the girls.

In 20 games this season, Herrera made 21 goals and finished with 16 assists for a 58 point total.

“Mateo is real outstanding with his ball skills,” Castaneda said. “He’s always a threat to score. One of the things we tried to do as a team is get him that space he needs to use his teammates.”

Castaneda said they were successful in spreading the ball around, which freed Herrera up to make more goals.

Through 22 games, Villanueva finished with 14 goals and 10 assists for the Tigers for a 38 point total.

“Autumn is highly motivated young lady,” Nelson said. “She’s been playing soccer since she was knee high. I mean, that’s her passion. She wants to set her own destiny as far as helping parents. She wants to pay her way to college with a scholarship. “She’s thinking about college already, even though she’s just a freshman,” he added. “Let alone, her GPA is a 4.1.”


Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
Miyamura midfielder Mateo Juarez (dark jersey) battles Bloomfield’s Gavin Gurule for possession of the ball durin a district game on Oct. 18. Herrera earned the Times’ Player of the Year award after scoring 21 goals and 16 assists.

Boys Soccer

Ethan Villanueva, Aztec

Geoff Austin, Aztec

John Toadlena, Gallup

Kyler Joe, Kirtland Central

Jerrett Guillory, Kirtland Central

Andres Melendez, Kirtland Central

Saul Garcia, Kirtland Central

Mateo Juarez, Miyamura

Jameson Ferguson, Miyamura

Illas Gomez, Miyamura

Ian Castaneda, Miyamura

Sean Spolar, Miyamura

Liam Bia, Rehoboth Christian

Morgan Arsenault, Rehoboth Christian

Garrett Van Slooten, Rehoboth Christian

Raeden West, Rehoboth Christian

Girls soccer

Autumn Villanueva, Aztec

Rheala Herrera, Aztec

Estrella Albright, Aztec

Erica Roberts, Aztec

Ella Serrano, Bloomfield

Alivia Waite, Bloomfield

Juleima Jazquez, Bloomfield

Desirea Gurule, Bloomfield

Jessi Curry, Farmington

Brenna Becenti, Gallup

Jessenia Garcia, Kirtland Central

Madison Manuelito, Kirtland Central

Kylie Haws, Kirtland Central

Sydney Smith, Kirtland Central

Whitney Haws, Kirtland Central

Taniel Espinosa, Miyamura

Tryshelle Trujillo, Miyamura

Aja Francisco, Miyamura

Rebekah Adcock, Miyamura

Davanise Levato, Navajo Prep

Jaci Hood, Navajo Prep

Naima Joe, Navajo Prep

Jasmine Chase, Navajo Prep

Maggie Van Drunen, Rehoboth Christian

Alyssa Chavez, Rehoboth Christian

Alieda Zlystra, Rehoboth Christian

About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at


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