Going undefeated in Foothill League play for the second year in a row, Hart boys soccer looked like it was going to win the league title outright. Thanks to Valencia who also went undefeated, the two shared the title with identical 6-0-4 league records
So it’s fitting that two seniors: Hart’s Timothy Kim and Valencia’s Ian Young were named co-Foothill League Players of the Year.
“It’s just a huge honor,” Kim said. “I didn’t really expect to win, but I think myself and my team put in a lot of work and I’m just glad that we were able to win league in the end.”
“It’s been a dream come true,” Young said. “This season has been amazing. The teamwork that we had helped propel us to the championship with Hart. It’s awesome, feels really great and I feel honored.”
Both teams began the season with one win through the first three games, going 1-1-1.
Valencia went on to win the following two games and went undefeated the rest of the season and into the playoffs until they fell 1-0 to Valley View in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 second round.
Valencia finished 10-2-8 overall and scored 34 goals on the season, Young accounted for 14 of the goals, scoring nine and assisting on five others. Ian also had one multi-goal game, scoring twice against West Ranch in their first meeting.
“Ian is an all-around solid young man,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio via text message. “He was a critical part why we won league undefeated and only lost two matches all season. Versatility is one of Ian’s strengths. Depending on where I needed him Ian could always get the job done. I used him at center midfield, center back and even striker at times.
“Unfortunately, Ian was too ill to play in our last match, which resulted in a 1-0 loss. Ian is one of our captains. He is a good soldier and has developed into a great leader. Ian is a leader by example, he’s the type of player that makes every player around him better.”
The Indians, similarly, won their fourth and fifth games of the year, but that’s where the comparisons stopped.
Finishing with a 13-7-5 overall record, Hart lost the next three games, allowing six goals in the losses against Ventura at home, Pacifica and El Camino real at home.
That didn’t sit well with Kim. Something had to change.
“At the start of the year, we just had a lot of leadership problems,” Kim said. “Very few people were stepping up and our coach gave each of the captains individual talks about what we needed to do better. I guess my individual goal was to be able to lead our team better and step up because no one was doing anything for us at the start of the year and I think that everyone stepped up which is why we were able to win league.”
Beginning league play with a 5-2 defeat of Golden Valley in the very next game, Kim scored his first goal of the season on a set piece in a 1-1 tie against Valencia.
Playing center back, Kim didn’t get a lot of scoring opportunities, but never shied away from any chances, scoring all three of his goals on the year on set pieces.
“I would often go to wherever I could find a goal and make sure I’m ready when the opportunity comes because I didn’t think I would get many scoring opportunities without set pieces because I’m a center back,” Kim said. “I think just practicing by myself has really helped me to do that.”
The most significant of the three goals came in the final game of the regular season against Saugus, where he scored the game-winner from about 30 yards out to clinch a share of the league title in a 1-0 win.
Hart and Valencia played the other twice during the league season. Both games ended in a draw.
“Both times it came down to the last five or ten minutes, so they were really really intense,” Young said. “They were really fun to play in and I’m sure it was really fun for the crowd to watch because balls were hitting the posts and going off everywhere.”
“Our coach really prepared us for the style that Valencia plays. It’s very different, Kim said. “We were pretty disappointed that we weren’t able to get any wins out of them, but at least we didn’t lose, right?”
The pair also played together as kids, years before the All-Foothill League lists were a thought for either.
“It was kind of special playing against him because we used to be on the same club team when we were younger,” Kim said. “I enjoy playing against him, he’s amazing.”
“I think it’s so cool because I’ve known Timothy for so long and he’s such a great kid,” Young said. “We honestly have had such a great time playing against each other these last four years and I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else. I think it’s awesome that we both played together for a couple years when we were little kids and now we are all grown up and won it together.”
Graduating in a matter of months, both will take similar paths and will attend college as Kim will be a Biology Major and has yet to decide what school he will attend and is still unsure if he will continue to play soccer at the next level, while Young will study nursing at Grand Canyon University and hope to continue playing intramural soccer in college.
“I would like to thank my family for always being there for me and supporting me no matter what,” Young said. “I would also like to thank the Valencia program, all the coaches, but especially Tony Scalercio because he has done a lot for me over the last four years and he has given me so many opportunities. He’s such an amazing coach.”
Alexei DeVita, Jr., Valencia
Adan Saldana, Sr., Valencia
Philip Stulman, Sr., Valencia
Darwin Herrera, Sr., Hart
Joseph Ochoa, Jr., Hart
Justin Burrow, Sr., Hart
Dylan Sullivan, Sr., Saugus
Frank Ornelas, Sr., Saugus
Colton Dolder, Sr., Saugus
Tito Gonzalez, Sr., Canyon
Donovan Hernandez, Sr., Canyon
Jonathan Saavedra, Sr., Golden Valley
Luke Fowble, Sr., Valencia
Evan Ross, Sr., Valencia
Brian Dolores, Sr., Hart
Gerardo Robledo, Sr., Hart
Eric Johnson, Sr., Saugus
Connor Claborn, Fr., Saugus
Drew Leskin, Sr., Canyon
Harrison Davis, Sr., Canyon
Edward Quijano, Jr., Canyon
Robert Castro, Sr., Golden Valley
Brian Romo, Jr., Golden Valley
Ronny Morales, Jr., Golden Valley
Chase Moynihan, Sr., Canyon
Jhovany Hernandez, Sr., Golden Valley
Kevin Perez, Sr., Hart
Alec Fryer, Fr., Saugus
Nico Kaufmann, Jr., Valencia
Nico Montebon, Sr., West Ranch