EARLY IMPACT

T-birds freshman Phillip Camacho collides with the keeper during Mohave’s 2-1 home loss to Desert Edge on Dec. 14. 

BULLHEAD CITY — Two T-bird boys soccer players did not need much time to get their beaks wet.

Freshmen center-forward Logan Burgess and center-halfback Phillip Camacho not only made an immediate impact on Mohave High School’s team, but they also impressed their region foes.

Burgess and Camacho each earned a spot on the Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Grand Canyon Region First-Team following the T-birds’ 5-4-3 overall, 3-4-2 in region and 3-2-1 in region season, which concluded in early February.

Senior midfielder “Eduardo Romero came into my classroom and said, ‘Good work; we deserved it.’ ” said Camacho as to how he found out about earning the honor. “Romero read about it on the AIA website. He brought his phone and he showed me.

“I was kind of surprised, especially since I was a freshman.

“I had to sit in my seat and process it for a second.”

Burgess, who scored a T-birds-leading 14 goals, with three assists for a team-leading 31 points, was no less surprised when he received the news from — guess who, yes: Romero.

“I was in class, it ended, I got a text from captain Eddie Romero and it showed me the link proving it to me,” Burgess said.

When asked if his knees buckled, Burgess said, “Just about. I thought it was a dream — to be honest.”

When asked about his reaction to seeing that Burgess, who has been a teammate of his for six years, on the team, too, Camacho said, “I was happy to have him accomplish that with me.”

Burgess said when he noticed Camacho earned first-team honors, his first thoughts were about what it took for him and his teammate to earn such an achievement.

“I thought that’s what hard work does for you,” Burgess said. “Phillip and I put in a lot of work outside of practice, we played in Vegas on a club team together and because he’s younger than me, his club team is onto nationals after winning the regionals.

“So, you can see the kind of work he puts in to be in this position.”

The duo has played together on the Regon 397 U-10 AYSO team since 2010, and the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club’s 15-U squad for the next three seasons until Burgess moved on to play 16-U, Camacho said. They played State Cup against other Nevada teams in January and February, tournaments in Vegas throughout the year against competition from anywhere and for the team that competed in the national league against squads from different states across the country.

After two AYSO seasons, they played for another Vegas team called Gunners FC until last season, Camacho said.

“I was nervous because it was more physical than the other leagues that I had played in,” Camacho said. “I knew we were gong to come up against better competition, so I knew in the back of mind that I was going to face better competition.”

When Burgess was asked if he felt nervous before beginning his varsity career, “I felt like I was because it was a new atmosphere.

“The kids are older, bigger and stronger and it was hard to adjust at first, but before the season started, the team helped us adjust to the new play style.”

Camacho and Burgess “both had outstanding performances during their freshmen seasons,” Mohave head soccer coach Matt Camacho said. 

The Prescott High School Badgers, who were the 4A runners-up in 2018-19, lost just two games all season and one of those defeats came against the T-birds, Coach Camacho said. “Logan Burgess scored in that game in a pivotal moment for us, and Phillip Camacho anchored the defensive front for us in that game keeping PHS at bay to not gain any momentum,” he added. “So, those instances were prevalent all season with those two players.”

Burgess entered his freshman season with a reputation as a dynamic ball-handler, and he was not going to tone it down just because he was a freshman.

“I never feel uncomfortable with the ball,” said Burgess about not changing his style upon entering his first season of varsity. “If razzle dazzle is required to beat a defender or defenders, I’ll do it.”

As a defender, Camacho has a more blue-collar approach, yet he knows of Burgess’ capabilities and knows his teammate is just scratching the surface.

When asked if the soccer community has seen the best of Burgess yet, “Definitely not,” Camacho said. “I know Logan has a lot of potential and he will be getting better.”

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