Column: Alexis Vera’s ability to score with both legs makes Fremont a contender
Scoring 10 goals in one soccer match is pretty good at any level. Alexis Vera of Fremont High remembers pulling off the feat as an 8-year-old.
“Every shot I was shooting went in,” he recalled.
As a high school senior, he’s the No. 1 goal scorer in Los Angeles, with 30 goals and 15 assists for Fremont (13-2-2), a City Section Division I finalist last season.
“He can shoot with both legs,” Coach Roberto Gonzalez said. “He’s very quick. He dribbles everywhere on the field.”
At 5 feet 5, Vera is a four-year starter who’s been playing soccer since he was 5.
“My dad always liked playing soccer, and he put me on a team,” Vera said.
Fremont should be in contention for a City Division I title with Birmingham, El Camino Real, Palisades and Sotomayor.
The No. 1 team in Southern California has been Anaheim Servite, which is 14-1-1 and unbeaten in the Trinity League at 5-0. The Friars have tested themselves against the best and keep winning, whether against Loyola, Santa Margarita or Paramount. Corbin Mercado has 10 goals.
Future stars: If you’re a UCLA women’s soccer fan, you might want to keep track of San Juan Capistrano JSerra. The Lions have five sophomore players committed to UCLA. They also have players committed to Santa Clara and Stanford.
And they all chose to play high school soccer over the USA Soccer’s Academy League.
“Some people want to play Academy and some don’t,” JSerra Coach Greg Baker said. “My players who happen to be the best players in the country don’t want to. They love playing for their high school.”
Junior Isabella D’Aquila, a Santa Clara commit who led JSerra to the Division 1 championship with eight freshmen last season, has 25 goals. JSerra is 12-0-1.
Entertaining basketball: The Rolling Hills Prep State Preview Classic is set for Saturday at Cerritos College. The eight-game tournament always produces some great matchups.
No. 1 Torrance Bishop Montgomery (19-0) plays Fairfax in the featured game at 7 p.m. The Knights are expected to get back junior guard Gianni Hunt this week. He has been sidelined while recovering from a broken ankle.
There’s also Corona Centennial taking on Oak Park at 5 p.m. Centennial sophomore guards Jaylen Clark and D.J. Davis will meet the Slajchert brothers, Clark and Wesley. At 8:30 p.m., Chino Hills, led by Onyeka Okongwu, will play Santa Monica.
Coaching milestones: Kudos go out to Mike LeDuc, the La Verne Damien basketball coach who won victory No. 900. And Tom Hofman of La Cañada won victory No. 700. They’re two of the best coaches around.
Coaching turnover: There has been a surge of football coaching changes. Former coach Chris Fore has been documenting the changes in recent years, and the total reached 79 in Southern California on Jan. 19. One third has happened in the last 20 days. It didn’t reach that many until Feb. 10 last year.
Changes are happening at both private and public schools. Among the openings: Servite, Encino Crespi, Pasadena La Salle, Irvine Crean Lutheran, Pasadena Maranatha, Long Beach Poly, Buena Park, Dorsey, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendora, San Juan Hills, La Verne Bonita, Burbank Burroughs. There are 59 openings.
Football transfer update: After Santa Ana Mater Dei got a head start in the transfer game with the arrival of three top players, Bellflower St. John Bosco has countered by picking up two outstanding players from Servite: linebacker Spencer Lytle and defensive back Trent McDuffie. Both schools have also lost players, so stay tuned. Trinity League teams like to trade players. It’s only January.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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