CHICKASHA – Going undefeated with 10 shutouts, the Drover men practically swept the 2012 All-Sooner Athletic Conference selections.
Perry Sansford was named the SAC’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, while teammate Scott Parkinson earned Defensive Player of the Year and Bryan Byars was named Goalkeeper of the Year.
Coach Jimmy Hampton earned conference Coach of the Year. It is his fourth conference Coach of the Year award and third for the men.
Joining Sansford, Byars and Parkinson on the First Team, Phil Pryor was named an All-Conference First Team defender. Stephen Owusu was named All-Conference Second Team.
“This speaks volumes of the types of players we are trying to attract to USAO,” Hampton said. “All of our kids chosen are deserving and excellent representatives of our university and soccer team.”
With 15 goals on the season, Sansford not only led the 2012 Drovers, but also the Sooner Athletic Conference in goals, so it was no surprise that he was named Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
One-third of those goals were game-winners, putting him 10th in the NAIA in game-winning goals. He ranks 30th in the NAIA in total goals.
“Perry Sansford had an excellent year for us and trained very hard in the off season to prepare himself,” Hampton said. “I couldn’t be more pleased in his recognition as MVP and offensive MVP, and his contributions to the success of our team are irreplaceable.”
In two years at USAO, Sansford has had 27 goals, seven assists and 11 game-winners. He is tied for second in the USAO history books in game-winners.
Sansford was named SAC Player of the Week earlier this season.
He is a physical education junior from Colchester, England. He is the son of Perry and Ordelia Sansford.
For the second year in a row, Parkinson has been honored as the leading defender in the tough conference.
In addition to being a driving force defensively, Hampton describes Parkinson as one of the team’s leaders.
“Scott Parkinson is our emotional leader and the guy who drives us. His passion and ability to organize the defense and own the air are second to none,” Hampton said. “We are proud that he has been recognized for this defensive MVP award as he works tirelessly for the good of our program on and off the field.”
Parkinson scored USAO’s only goal in a 1-1 tie against Oklahoma City in the SAC Tournament and helped out with an assist earlier this season.
But more importantly for the Drovers, Parkinson anchored the back line that allowed just nine goals all season and earned 10 shutouts.
In 2011, he was named an NAIA All-America Third Team recipient and SAC Defensive MVP. As a freshman, he was named All-Conference Second Team.
He is a physical education junior from Liverpool, England, and the son of James and Susan Parkinson.
Already seeing placement in the USAO record books and topping the NAIA as a sophomore, Byars was the clear choice for SAC Goalkeeper of the Year.
He leads the NAIA in goals against average (0.500), having allowed just nine goals in 17 games. He leads the conference in shutouts with 10 on the season.
“I believe Bryan Byars is the top goalkeeper in the country and his work rate and coachability are second to none,” Hampton said. “He is very deserving of this award, and we look forward to his continued growth over the next two years. We are blessed to have such an outstanding goalkeeper and young man representing USAO.”
With a strong back line, Byars had 42 saves on the season and 109 in his career, which is fifth in the career records for the school.
For his career at USAO, Byars has earned a record of 30-5-4 with 20 shutouts to his name. He is just one shutout away from tying assistant coach Alexis Vizarelis’ record for career shutouts. He is tied for third with Ryan Mcentee in career wins.
Byars was named SAC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and was named All-Conference First Team last year.
He is a physical education and business management sophomore and is the son of Danny and Pauline Byars of Oklahoma City.
Coach Jimmy Hampton
Hampton led the Drovers to another regular-season SAC title and has coached the Drover men to seven conference tournament championships in 15 seasons.
On the men’s side alone, Hampton has a career record of 194-77-14, earning him a spot as the 20th Active Winningest Coach in the NAIA.
He has led the Drovers to four straight NAIA National Tournaments and took the Drovers to the NAIA Quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011.
In addition to his duties with both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at USAO, he is the director of the Oklahoma Football Club. He is one of just a few coaches in the southwest with a national “A” coaching licenses from the United States Soccer Federation.
In his third season at USAO, Pryor was named All-Conference First Team.
As a defender, he has helped the Drovers through three of their best seasons in school history, keeping the shot count low.
Pryor has had two assists in his career at USAO, including one on the game-winning goal in the NAIA National Tournament last season to send the Drovers to the NAIA Quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
Pryor is a physical education and business junior from High Wycombe, England, and the son of Tony and Hiliary Pryor.
Coming in as a newcomer this season, Owusu was named All-Conference Second Team.
Owusu was third in the SAC and second on the team in total goals this season with 11. He also had two assists.
He had a hat trick against Lubbock Christian in the last week of play and was named SAC Player of the Week.
Owusu is a business administration freshman from Accra, Ghana. He is the son of Kwabena Owusu.
“For Phil Pryor and Stephen Owusu to be recognized as All-Conference is a reflection of their hard work,” Hampton said. “I am excited for the both of them and proud they made All-Conference.”