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Babalai won a spot on the all-TRL first team after leading his team in scoring this year

PMG: PHOTO: MILES VANCE - West Linn senior forward Jacob Babalai was rewarded for his strong senior season by being named to the all-Three Rivers League first team in 2019.There were some ups — and some downs — for the West Linn boys soccer team this year.

The Lions had good reason to expect another upswing at the end of the year — the team won six of its last eight games — but fell just short in its first playoff contest.

Despite that, West Linn had enough success and challenged the Three Rivers League's best teams well enough to get eight of its players honored on all-TRL teams this fall.

That group was led by senior forward Jacob Babalai — a transfer from Portland Christian and the team's leading scorer — and his selection to the all-Three Rivers League first team.

"Overall, he had a very solid year and I believe he was the best attacking player in the league this fall," said West Linn's first-year coach Steve Ancheta. "He was always getting serious attention from other teams by being double-teamed every night. If he stays focused and keeps pushing himself to be great, he will have a great college career."

The Lions also saw three players named to the all-TRL second team and four more to the honorable mention team. The Lions' second-team selections included sophomore midfielder Owen Caba, sophomore midfielder Owen Hoy and sophomore defender Alejandro Valdez.

"(Caba) loves to compete every day and pushes himself to be the best he can be. I look forward to coaching him two more years at West Linn," Ancheta said, adding that Hoy "is very technical on the ball and is very comfortable under pressure situations in the game," while Valdez is "very strong into the tackle and a solid one-on-one defender who had to battle against most of the top strikers this fall."

The team's honorable mention selections are junior defender Alec Sloan, junior defender Zach Walton, sophomore midfielder Maxwell Kelley and senior midfielder Kyle Gregg.

Together, that group helped West Linn go 8-7 overall after finishing third in the Three Rivers League race, and later, falling to Centennial in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

Tigard senior midfielder Trevor Smith was named TRL Player of the Year, while Tualatin's Chris Duke was chosen as TRL Coach of the Year.

First Team

Forwards: Rasheed Tarhuni, sr., Tigard; Jacob Babalai, sr., West Linn; Aaron Rudder, sr., Lake Oswego. Midfielders: Trevor Smith, sr., Tigard; Jose Jacintos, sr., Tualatin; Marco Millan, sr., Tigard; Chris Anissian, sr., Lake Oswego; Francisco Cabello, jr., Canby. Defenders: Nathan Buckalew, sr., Tualatin; Jared Debban, sr., Tigard; Chace Koth, jr., Lakeridge; Hunter Popma, sr., Tualatin. Goalkeeper: Zachary Heidema, sr., Canby.

Player of the Year — Trevor Smith, Tigard

Coach of the Year — Chris Duke, Tualatin

Second Team

Forwards: Manny Mayares, jr., Tualatin; Gavin Abbott, jr., Lakeridge; Ian Quinlan, sr., Canby. Midfielders: Owen Caba, so., West Linn; Ryan Sze, so., Lakeridge; Owen Hoy, so., West Linn; Sean McDowd, fr., Lake Oswego; Drew Carlile, jr., Tualatin. Defenders: Jack Hallum, jr., Tigard; Monish Judge, jr., Lake Oswego; Jack Woolf, jr., Lake Oswego; Alejandro Valdez, so., West Linn; Cole Richmond, jr., Tualatin. Goalkeeper: Jackson Cleaver, sr., Tigard.

Honorable Mention

Forwards: George Kohnstamm, sr., Lakeridge; Remus Repcak, fr., Tualatin; Jacob Theodoroff, sr., Tigard; Eric Seaman, jr., Lake Oswego; Hayden Gillespie, sr., Oregon City. Midfielders: Hansi Katterle, so., Tualatin; Ben Martinusen, sr., Canby; Ivan Orozco, sr., Tigard; Edson Jimenez-Sutton, jr., Oregon City; Kyle Gregg, sr., West Linn; Adrian Ramos, so., Oregon City; Riley Hemsi-Walters, so., Canby; Maxwell Kelly, so., West Linn. Defenders: Alec Sloan, jr., West Linn; Brandon Mendez, so., Tigard; Carter Phelps, so., Oregon City; Alex Flores, so., Oregon City; Nick Wittig, fr., Lakeridge; Luke Tamimi, sr., Canby; Zach Walton, jr., West Linn; Ethan Elder, sr., Tualatin; Edgar Gutierrez, sr., Canby. Goalkeeper: Ian Stuart, sr., Tualatin; Josepher Juarez-Cruz, jr., Oregon City.

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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