TMP lands three on all-state team
By AUSTIN COLBERT
The success wasn't a surprise for Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' soccer coach Darryl Wellbrock. How soon it happened certainly was.
"I was anticipating this kind of season maybe next year. The girls really stepped it up as a team," Wellbrock said. "They are starting to be driven and pushed from inside the team by each other. They are pushing each other to be better and I think that was key to having them come along this quickly ... the girls are somewhat a better teacher than the coach sometimes."
TMP went 8-3-2 this spring, by far the best season in the program's nine years of existence, the fifth under Wellbrock. And they accomplished this feat with a roster of predominantly freshmen and sophomores, three of which became the first TMP girls' soccer players ever named to the all-state teams.
Freshman goalkeeper Deonna Wellbrock, Darryl Wellbrock's daughter, was named to the Class 4-1A first team on defense by the coaches. Sophomores Tyra Younie (defense) and Bailey Hageman (offense) were each named second team all-state.
"It meant a lot. I didn't expect it though. Right when my mom told me I didn't believe her," Deonna Wellbrock said. "I think we built together really quickly and more than a lot of people expected."
Deonna Wellbrock finished with 39 saves in goal as a freshman, which included five shutouts.
She was also an effective weapon out of the net, scoring eight goals with three assists, to help guide the Monarchs to the Class 4-1A state quarterfinals where they lost 2-0 to eventual state champion Wichita-Trinity.
"As a family thing it's exciting. And to do that as a freshman is really unbelievable," Darryl Wellbrock said of his daughter making first team all-state. "I don't know if I can handle her ego sometimes. It's exciting for her and good for her and good for me, too.
"Hopefully she doesn't draw too much attention and people try to manipulate that next year."
Darryl Wellbrock's son, Darren, a 2009 TMP graduate, made second team all-state in soccer as a senior.
Younie was a team captain and sweeper, part of a defensive group that allowed only 14 goals in 2014, easily a program best.
She also scored one goal, coming on April 3 against Wichita Independent, a 10-0 win.
Hageman, the team's most productive forward and striker, led TMP with 13 goals, scoring multiple goals in a single game four times.
Despite the excessive youth, both Darryl and Deonna Wellbrock cited team chemistry as a key reason for the Monarchs' rapid success this season.
"I think just being girls and being able to talk a lot easier and not get frustrated with each other as much," Deonna Wellbrock said as the reason for the team's cohesiveness.
"We can talk to each other more than just yell at each other. We understand each other. It's not in a mean way when you tell someone to do something. It's always taken nicely and to make you better."
TMP will lose only one senior off the 2014 team and nobody who was a frequent starter on varsity. Darryl Wellbrock is also excited about some of the eighth graders he hopes will join the team in 2015, where they will be in good position to make a run at the program's first state appearance.
Until then, they can settle for reflecting on their surprising spring season and the first three all-state players in the program's young history.
"As of last year no one even knew who TMP soccer was, or girls' soccer anyway. Then we come along this year and have three girls that got noticed by some of the other coaches," Darryl Wellbrock said.
"To have such a young team and to have girls that are getting noticed like this already is very exciting for years to come."