Coming off the program’s first-ever appearance in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A Championship, the Laney boys’ soccer team earned a pair of invitations to the prestigious North Carolina East/West All-Star Game set for Tuesday, July 19 in Greensboro.
Seniors Nathaniel Lorenz and Wesley Nelson will get one more opportunity to represent the blue and gold after helping guide the Bucs to a memorable run through the state playoffs. They become the fifth and sixth players from Laney to receive the honor, joining Jamie Salling (1995), Stephen Batts (2004), Ryan King (2012) and Michael James (2015), who were also selected for the annual event. James was unable to compete last summer because of injury.
“We had a tremendous season and something every one of these players should be proud of,” said Laney Coach Jamie Noble. “It was the result of a lot of hard work by our parents and players and now a new standard has been set for this program. “
In 24 appearances this season, Nelson tallied 40 points on 22 goals and five assists. He was named Mideastern Conference Player of the Year and named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team. Nelson amassed 95 points on 40 goals and 15 Assists in a two-year career after transferring to Buctown as a junior.
“Wes will go down as of the most proficient goal scorers in our program’s history,” Noble added. “His career was one of the most productive of all time. He’s a very talented player and a very high character young man, so for him to be recognized as one of the elite players this season is truly an honor.”
Lorenz was the anchor for Laney during his senior campaign, helping the Bucs to a 20-4-3 record as East Regional Champions. He gave Laney great production at center back and central midfield, with seven goals and seven assists. Lorenz appeared in 50 games at the varsity level, with 10 goals and 17 assists.
“Nathaniel is one of the hardest working players I’ve been around,” Noble said. “He improved his skills greatly in a short period of time after moving from goalkeeper. He played keeper until his freshman year and put in a ton of individual work while other people weren’t watching.
“His return to the team this year was a huge lift for us and one of the reasons we had the success we did.”
A total of 30 players from eastern and western North Carolina earned a spot in the match, which was added to the annual North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games in 1992.