Wright, Gartside honored as All-CIF selections in boys' soccer

Throughout the last few seasons, the Crescenta Valley High and La Cañada boys' soccer teams have fielded their share of prolific athletes.

That is one of the reasons why both programs have enjoyed their share of success, along with being among the most successful in the area.

That proved to be the case once again this season, as Crescenta Valley's Justin Wright and Austin Gartside of La Cañada picked up All-CIF first-team recognition Monday. Wright and Gartside earned spots on the Division III and V teams, respectively, after the CIF Southern Section Office unveiled first-team honorees from the seven divisions.

Wright, a junior midfielder and an All-Pacific League first-team pick, finished with 18 goals and 16 assists for 52 points after helping the Falcons wind up 22-5-3, 10-3-1 in league for third place with 31 points.

With Wright playing a major role in aiding the Falcons' transition game, Crescenta Valley advanced to the first round of the playoffs.

"He's just been great for the program and it's nice to know we have him for one more year," said Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark, who piloted the Falcons to a Division IV crown in 2012. "You can tell coming in that he's something special.

"He knew how to get the ball and find a hole and make a great pass up field. He went out there and put in the work and found ways to get that much better."

Gartside, a senior defender and the All-Rio Hondo League Defensive Player of the Year, showed he could excel on offense, too. The Duke University-bound Gartside finished with seven goals and eight assists for 22 points for the Spartans, who went 13-5-5 and 6-2-2 in league for second place with 20 points. La Cañada lost in the first round of the playoffs.

"He's very deserving of getting All-CIF," said La Cañada Coach Alex Harrison, who led the Spartans to a share of the league title in 2013. "Players like him are very hard to find.

"He was kind of like our big utility player in that we could put him almost anywhere. You knew going in he would try hard in anything he does."


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