Crescenta Valley's Kaauwai receives league's top accolade

Crescenta Valley's Kaauwai receives league's top accolade
Crescenta Valley High's Dallas Kaauwai was voted the Pacific League Player of the Year. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

Dallas Kaauwai had plenty on his mind entering the season.

What the Crescenta Valley High senior boys' soccer player pined most for was to help the Falcons win the Pacific League championship for the first time since 2012. In order for him to accomplish that goal, Kaauwai understood he'd have to play a large role in the Falcons' offense.


Kaauwai got the job done, collecting 17 goals and five assists en route to being named the league's player of the year for the first time.

"It takes a lot of work to earn that award and I put in a lot of time and effort," said Kaauwai, who began the campaign at midfielder before shifting to forward in late December. "I'm absolutely honored.


"We got a lot done as a team and we really wanted that league championship. We had so many excellent players and we felt good about what we were able to do."

Crescenta Valley finished 18-5-3, 12-0-2 in league. The Falcons earned the second seed in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by California.

"We gave it a good run in the playoffs and came up short," Kaauwai said. "We did everything we could to make a long playoff run. It's still good to go out winning league."

Crescenta Valley coach Grant Clark, who took over the program in 2011, said Kaauwai brought an added dimension to the Falcons.

"In the beginning of the year, he missed some good scoring opportunities," said Clark, who was named the league's coach of the year. "Then everything started to click for Dallas and he created plenty of chances and capitalized on them. He commanded attention from the defenders.

"He's got great body control and he used every ounce of it. He did a great job at pressuring the opponents."

Tomik Baghramian, Ryan Sanfilippo, Ayden Blackwood and Kyle Quesada of Crescenta Valley and Glendale's Aaron Alexander were selected to the first team.

Baghramian, a senior defender, finished with one goal and one assist.

"Tomik was definitely our pillar on defense," Clark said. "He knew how to break up plays and he's skilled with the ball."

Sanfilippo registered 11 goals and eight assists as a senior forward.

"Ryan was real dangerous on the outside and knew how to get into the box," Clark said. "He brought a lot of consistency and scored some big goals."

Blackwood, a senior forward, collected seven goals and nine assists.

"With Ayden, it's a lot about tenacity, drive and willingness," Clark said. "He was our starting role player."

Quesada had six goals and eight assists as a senior forward/midfielder.

"Kyle was very crafty whenever he had possession of the ball," Clark said. "He created a lot of scoring chances for himself and his teammates."

Alexander, a junior defender/midfielder, flourished for Glendale (7-8-3, 4-7-3 for fifth place). He notched one goal and two assists.

"He;s got so much talent and I'm always confident he'd do well," Glendale coach Artur Aghasyan said. "I trust him and he'll definitely be a big part of our team next year."

Crescenta Valley's Chris Sanfilippo, Shayan Afzali and Filip Szkutek, Chris Atikian of Glendale and Hoover's Kajayr Boghozian received second-team nods.

Sanfilippo, a senior midfielder, finished with five goals and four assists. Afzali had one goal and one assist as a senior defender. Szkutek, a junior defender, had two assists.

Atkian, a senior defender, had one goal.

Boghozian, a senior defender, collected one assist.

Cameron Cuesta of Crescenta Valley, Glendale's Dro Gharibian and Tigran Hovhannisyan of Hoover (4-12-4, 3-8-3 for seventh place) received honorable mention.

Cuesta, a senior defender, contributed three assists. Gharibian had two goals and four assists as a junior midfielder. Hovhannisyan, a senior forward/midfielder, registered three goals and one assist.

Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich