Although the team's season has now ended, the accolades continue for SPA's boys' varsity soccer team. Senior and captain Leo Larson' 22 (pictured right) has been named IMAC Player of the Year by unanimous vote of the Independent Metro Athletic Conference's coaches; and long-time Spartan assistant coach and Twin Cities soccer giant Buzz Lagos has been named Assistant Coach of the Year for Section 3A.
Leo Larson has had a stellar season in his final year with the Spartans, leading the team to their first conference championship in six years. Head Coach Max Lipset calls Larson "the heart" of this year's team: "Leo led us every day with his commitment and work ethic--he was the link between our offense and defense," Lipset says. "Leo is a tremendous soccer player and an even better person. I am so happy for him to have received this honor." In addition to being named Player of the Year for the IMAC conference, Larson also earned All-State and All-Conference honors for his play this season.
Buzz Lagos has been named the Section 3A Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time in his storied coaching career, which includes 30 years with the Spartans: he served as Head Coach from the 1970s through the 1990s and has been an Assistant Coach for the last six seasons. Lagos is the former coach of the Minnesota Thunder, a professional soccer team founded in the 1990s; Lagos coached the Thunder to four A-league Championship matches, winning the championship in 1999. Head Coach Max Lipset knows the value of having someone so knowledgeable on his staff saying: "I am extremely grateful to have someone as accomplished as Buzz as part of our Spartan program," says Head Coach Lipset. "Buzz knows the game of soccer better than anyone and is a tremendous mentor to the young athletes on our team."