CHRIS CHAVEZ

Rockford • soccer

This season has definitely been a fun ride for the Rockford boys’ soccer team.

The Rockets finished the regular season with a 12-3-1 record, the first winning record in team history. They earned the No. 5 seed in the Class 1A, Section 6 playoffs and will play host to a postseason game for the first time. The biggest reason? Chavez, a senior midfielder whom coach Steve Ulen calls “a once-in-a-lifetime player.”

Chavez scored nine goals in three games last week, including a school-record-tying five in a 9-1 victory over Brooklyn Center. He’s among the state leaders in goals scored and tops the state in combined goals and assists with 40.

“He’s been pretty much in the middle of everything here for the past three years,” Ulen said. “And he’s such an unselfish player. He has 29 goals and 11 assists, and if he had his way, it would be 29 assists and 11 goals.”

Ulen says Chavez is a rare combination of speed and shiftiness and marvels at how the ball stays glued to his feet.

“He can move so fast and stop on a dime and he never loses the ball,” Ulen said. “It’s almost like he’s floating out there. He’s got as much skill as any player I’ve seen.”

SOPHIA ANDERSEN

New Prague • volleyball

The Trojans have won 13 consecutive matches. It’s no coincidence that Andersen, a sophomore outside hitter, has racked up double-digit kills in each of them. With 18 kills in a victory over Bloomington Jefferson and 22 in a victory over Orono, she has 428 kills for the season.

MEKHI BESSECK

Armstrong • football

The 6-3, 190-pound senior safety showed off his ball-hawking skills in the Falcons’ 51-10 romp over Bloomington Jefferson. Besseck intercepted two passes and returned them both for touchdowns — one 95 yards, the other 31 yards — in a span of 2 minutes, 28 seconds in the first half.

NASCIER BORDEN

Cooper • football

The junior running back stood much taller than his 5-5 frame in the Hawks’ 67-6 rout of Richfield. He rushed for a career-high 244 yards on 23 carries and scored on runs of 1, 64, 5 and 10 yards. Borden’s second and third scoring runs came only 1:02 apart in the third quarter.

MAYA HANSEN

Burnsville • soccer

The diminutive junior forward moved into the top 10 in the state in goals scored by finding the back of the net seven times last week. She scored three goals and assisted on another in a 4-0 shutout of Apple Valley, and tallied four times in a 5-5 tie with Rosemount.

MOLLY MOENING

St. Paul Highland Park • cross-country

The eighth-grader won the Royal Elk Thundering Herd Invitational at Fox Hollow Golf Course in St. Michael, covering the 5K course in a school-record time of 19:10 and helping the Scots to a second-place finish in the team competition.

HENRY TROST

Chisago Lakes • football

After five consecutive losses, the Wildcats won for the first time Friday, defeating St. Francis 49-19. Trost, a speedy senior quarterback, rushed 20 times for 245 yards and scored first-half touchdowns on runs of 3, 19 and 59 yards. He’s rushed for 960 yards in six games.

JIM PAULSEN

Nominate an athlete: Send an e-mail with supporting information to preps@startribune.com. Include a photo and a link, if available, to video.