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Hart's Brayon Rodriguez named Foothill Player of the Year

Posted: March 3, 2014 10:53 p.m.
Updated: March 3, 2014 10:53 p.m.

Hart's Brayon Rodriguez drives the ball down the field past Cathedral's Enrique Bustamante at Hart High School.

 

The Hart High boys soccer team advanced to the CIF quarterfinals only twice since 1983.

Both times, a Rodriguez brother played a big role in Hart’s success.

This time it was Brayon Rodriguez, Hart’s senior midfielder, who led his team to its first Foothill League championship since 2008 and a return trip to the quarterfinals.

And for his work, Rodriguez was voted by the league’s coaches as the 2013-14 Foothill League Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

“He is one of the captains. He worked hard the whole year,” said Hart head coach Adonay Jovel. “He’s disciplined, a team player and humble. I had the kids vote for player of the year and they voted him too.”

Three years ago, Rodriguez’s older brother Uriel helped lead Hart to its last quarterfinal appearance in 2011. That season, Uriel was The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Player of the Year.

Now it’s younger brother’s turn in the spotlight.

Brayon Rodriguez led Hart with 11 goals and added five assists this season. The third-year varsity player was the glue that held the team together when it struggled with injuries in the middle of the season.

Hart ended up finishing with a 15-5-4 record after losing 1-0 to Cathedral High in the CIF-Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals. It won league with a record of 7-2-1 against Foothill opponents.

The league champions also had three other players named to the All-Foothill first team, including the third brother in the family, junior midfielder Jeysen Rodriguez.

The other two Hart first-teamers are another set of brothers playing in the midfield, senior Riley Waldeck and sophomore Derek Waldeck.

“I can tell you Brayon, Riley Waldeck and Jeysen (Rodriguez), they all could have been player of the year,” Jovel said. “But Brayon is just the guys who connects these kids together and they all have similar roles as players.”

For the Foothill’s second place Valencia Vikings, senior Julian DeVita, junior Gerrardo Gonzalez and senior goalkeeper Cole Murphy were named to the first team.

For West Ranch, junior midfielder Brendan Moskal and senior defender Rhys Wheatley made the first team.

Saugus’ first-teamers were senior defender Colin Maher and senior goalkeeper Noah Maynard.

Golden Valley sophomore midfielder Francisco Perez made his second straight appearance on the first team and Canyon senior goalkeeper Niko Nuyda rounded out the first team.

Nuyda, a fourth-year varsity player, is one of three keepers to appear on this year’s first team.

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