While the program is only 16 years old, South Range’s boys soccer team has a ton of accolades to its name.
With six district championships, three regional championships and one state final appearance and a ton of solid players that have come through the program, the newest face to leave his legacy has been solidified.
Senior Camden Thomas was named as an All-American by the United Soccer Coaches recently and was one of 89 boys nationwide to receive the honor and one of only a handful from Ohio.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Thomas said. “My mind went to all the hard work, all the hours that I put in the game, all the coaches and the incredible guidance that I’ve gotten throughout the years that have made me into the player and more importantly, the person that I am today.
“My coaches and obviously my teammates too. I can’t score goals without my teammates putting me in the positions to score. I’m really just super grateful.”
For coach Zach Stamp, it’s an honor for his program to be recognized like some of the big programs in the state were.
“Usually you see players from huge schools like St. Ignatius or St. Edward going and doing that,” Stamp said. “But to have a kid from a small school like South Range in Mahoning County getting that award. It’s just incredible to see.”
As a part of the Raiders this season, Thomas helped guide South Range to a 14-3-1 record and set two school records along the way. Thomas set the records for most goals in a season with 44 and most assists in a season with 26.
Stamp, who took over heading into Thomas’ junior year, watched his growth and knew with his work ethic, he could do great things.
“Last year, he was a great player,” Stamp said. “He was our leading scorer as a junior playing defense mostly. Then to watch him step up into that leadership role this year, as a senior trying to finish off strong, breaking the assist season record and the goal single season record. He just works his tail off everyday at practice and everyday during games. He just set such a high standard, watching him play and helping the team just in every way you possibly can.”
Along with his nationwide honors, Thomas also earned several other esteemed honors including first team All-State, Division III Northeast District Player of the Year, Youngstown District Soccer League Senior Showcase MVP, along with several other regional and district awards. Thomas is only the second All-American in South Range soccer history.
With such a young program, Thomas is cementing himself as an all-time great and hopes the team continues to grow and dominate further as the years go on.
“Hopefully, it’s motivation,” he said. “I hope for these next few generations to come, it’s motivation for these kids to work hard. Hopefully this culture that we’ve been establishing at South Range is going to stay that way for years to come and South Range will be a force in the area and the state for years to come.”
Thomas will be continuing his academic and athletic career at Grove City College next year, where his current plans include pursuing a degree in Math Education. Thomas is following in the footsteps of his brother Brooks, who was a four-year letterwinner at Grove City. After college, Thomas plans to be a high school math teacher and give back to the future students as a soccer coach.
“Obviously it could change, but right now I want to be a teacher so I can help give back to the kids,” Thomas said. “Ultimately I hope that I can coach as well.”
Thomas and the fellow All-Americans will be recognized for their accomplishments at the All-American Ceremony & Reception on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the Kansas City Convention Center in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention.