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.