PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tanya Samarzich, Upland, Senior, Forward
Given the myriad levels of the soccer Olympic development program, there is often confusion when discussing membership of a “national team.” Particularly when the member is a high school senior. The case of Upland forward Tanya Samarzich is easily simplified. “Oh yeah, she’s on the actual Mexican National Team,” Upland coach Bo Whieldon said. “You don’t find many her age that are because usually they’re on the under-20 national team. It’s kind of a big deal.” Samarzich, 18, a dual citizen, didn’t play a full season at Upland until this year because of her required presence in Mexico or elsewhere around the globe. Her senior year netted her All-Valley Player of the Year honors after a 26-goal, 11-assist season during which she led her team to an outright Baseline League championship.
COACH OF THE YEAR: George Duran, San Dimas
After a winning just one of its first six games, Duran led San Dimas on a run that ended in the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals. Following the rocky start, San Dimas went on a 16-game winning streak that included 12 Valle Vista League victories good for an undefeated run through league, earning the Saints a second consecutive league championship. The Saints reached the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinal for the second straight season and held a one-goal lead with eight minutes to play before eventual CIF champion Citrus Valley rallied for a 3-2 win.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adrien Perez, Ontario, Senior, Forward
Take your pick: 23 goals, 12 assists, a CIF championship, a second consecutive league MVP. There were plenty of reasons to choose Perez (pictured above) as the Player of the Year, but what sealed the deal was the fact that he completed the last portion of a historic season playing through a debilitating knee injury. The Loyola Marymount-bound senior was the leader of a team that authored a legendary run through the Division 4 playoffs to claim the program’s first ever CIF championship and the second of any kind in the history of Ontario High School. Penalty kicks and overtime were how the final two games of the season ended for Ontario, but Perez was holding up a plaque when it was all said and done.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Vince Mangione and Moses Venegas, Ontario
The co-coaches led Ontario to the school’s first ever soccer CIF championship and the second CIF title of any kind. The unseeded Jaguars defeated the No. 2 seed before winning a semifinal on penalty kicks over the No. 3 seed and ultimately claiming the CIF-SS Division 4 championship game in overtime on March 1. Of course, Ontario had to win its final five regular season games to claim a share of the Mt. Baldy League championship and begin the greatest postseason run in school history.
San Dimas is the only local girls soccer team with more than one player on the all-CIF teams released Monday, which assuredly makes the Saints the only team with three. Goalkeeper Britain Chaputa and junior midfielders Daisy Duran and Morgan Quaternick were all named to the Division 6 all-CIF team on the heels of carrying San Dimas within eight minutes of a CIF-SS championship. The Saints’ season ended with a stunning 3-2 loss to Citrus Valley Feb. 27 in the CIF championship game, but all-CIF honors are a welcome reprieve.
Player of the Year: Abbi Williams, Sr. Defense – Chaminade
Coach of the Year: Mike Evans – Chaminade