Samantha Branham was named the Most Valuable Player of Fallbrook High School’s girls soccer team during the Warriors’ post-season banquet Feb. 26 at the high school cafeteria.
Branham, a senior, was Fallbrook’s goalkeeper. The players overwhelmingly selected Branham as the team’s Most Valuable Player. “She deserved it. She never gave up,” said Fallbrook coach Miguel Trejo. “She went out there and played her best, and that’s all you can ask for. She would always go to practice, go to games, and walk on the field with a smile.”
The Most Valuable Player, Most Inspirational, and Most Improved awards were voted upon by the players while the coaching staff bestowed the Coaches Award. Senior defender Marissa Lopez, who was one of the Warriors’ captains, was voted to receive the Most Inspirational honors. “She would always show up for the games ready to play, motivated,” Trejo said.
Trejo also noted Lopez’s support for her teammates. “She was always there for everybody,” Trejo said. “She would do what it took to put a smile on every girl’s face.”
Senior defender Jackie Castaneda took home the Most Improved award. “She learned a lot. She was like a sponge. She absorbed all the information that my assistant coach and I gave her,” Trejo said. “She was always willing to give it her best.”
Edward Orozco was Trejo’s assistant coach.
The Coaches Award was given to sophomore Jenna Murphy. “She was the last one to leave. She was always willing to pick up,” Trejo said.
Murphy was often the first to arrive at practice, but she was usually the last to board the team bus as well as to leave the bus as part of her efforts to ensure that her teammates’ travel needs were met. “She showed each one of the girls what respect is,” Trejo said.
Murphy was both a defender and a forward during the season. “She was willing to play her heart out,” Trejo said. “She never gave up on any play.”
Murphy scored the Warriors’ final goal of the season Feb. 14 at Rancho Buena Vista when the Longhorns’ goalkeeper turned out not to have control of the ball in her hands. “She was one of those girls who were always willing to fight for a victory,” Trejo said.
The banquet also gave awards to junior varsity players. Anya Bell was the Most Valuable Player; Taryn Sehnert received Most Improved; Camden Vellon was the Most Inspirational, and Ashley Cook took home the Coaches Award.