Five Bladen County athletes – East Bladen’s Malcolm Bolden, Chase Starkloff and Jacob Nixon and West Bladen’s Cade Allen and Javier De los Santos – have all been named to the Southeastern 2A All-Conference Men’s Soccer Team.
Bolden, a junior, led the Eagle attack with 27 goals and 6 assists. The East forward recorded ‘Hat Tricks’ of 3 goals or more in 6 games and has been named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Class 2A All-State Team.
“He was our attack this season having to rely on long balls and his speed to score,” said East Bladen Coach Jay Raynor. “Malcolm took the difficult task of having to do a lot for us and made the most of it, winning games and keeping us in games.”
Starkloff, a senior, racked up 395 steals in 18 games and tallied 3 goals and an assist. “Chase will go down as one of the best defenders to ever put on an East Bladen jersey,” stated Raynor. “His leadership and drive to want to make his team better was unmatched.” Starkloff has also been named to the All-Region team.
Nixon, a junior, was credited with a team-high 410 steals and contributed 3 goals and 3 assists. “Jacob has made a name for himself,” said Raynor. “He controlled the midfield for us. His physicality and understanding of the game separates him from others. He was a difference maker. Without him on the field we weren’t the same team.” Nixon was also named to the All-Region team.
De los Santos, a sophomore, led the Knights with 14 goals and 5 assists and posted a ‘Hat Trick’ of 3 goals in a win over West Columbus. “Javier is a player that you enjoy watching because his ball control is almost unreal at times,” said West Bladen Coach Kristen Parker. “He will definitely be missed next year when he returns home to Spain.”
Allen, a freshman, recorded 63 saves in 13 games for the Knights. “Cade had a great season as a freshman in goal,” said Parker. “He has many of the qualities coaches look for in a keeper – comfortable with the ball at his feet, quick, athletic and coachable.”