During the opening week of tryouts for Legacy’s soccer team, defender Anthony Quidachay let coach Anthony Romano know about a possible conflict that could have him miss time if the Lightning again make a run in the Class 5A postseason.
Quidachay, nicknamed “Chai” on the account of the pronunciation on the ending of his last name, is expected to be a major cog on the Lightning’s backline after he eagerly sat behind a talented senior unit last year. The only snag is, the senior — whose parents were born in Guam, making him eligible to play for the country’s national team — could also be selected for the U19 team when it plays in the Asian Football Confederation Championship qualifiers in early November.
Right now, it’s a “maybe” as Guam’s U19 selections have not yet been announced. Chai said he just wanted to keep his coach informed to make sure there’s a plan in place.
“That’s the kind of kid he is,” Romano said. “He’s like, ‘I don’t even know if it’s going to happen, but just in case it does, I want you to be prepared for how it might impact the team.’ Just a selfless kid.”
Legacy’s script until then … just keep plugging away.
A historically good 2018 — one in which the team won its most games in program history, beat rival Broomfield for the first time and reached its first state quarterfinal — should have some lasting power into this fall.
From that team, the Lightning graduated eight seniors, including all-region players Noah Stover and Ben Tuka. And in their place will be another large senior class of around 13 players, including 10 from last fall’s varsity squad.
Of those returnees, Blake Hansen led the team with 12 goals in 2018, including two in the overtime victory against Broomfield. 2017 goals leader Joey Joiner also is returning, as is goalie Brandon Hansen, wing Colten Armstrong, midfielders Jake Maurek and Ryan Bennett — and yes, Quidachay, who’s looking to have a breakout season of his own.
“This is my first chance to step on the team as a starter and I think sitting behind Jordan Swinhart and all the other seniors that were on the backline last year really prepared me,” Quidachay said. “I learned a lot from them and I think it prepared me to step in the role they had last year, so I’m really excited about it.”
Quidachay’s abilities were on display this summer when he was invited to Guam’s U19 national team training camp. At the end of it, Guam played the Northern Mariana Islands in the Marianas Cup and Quidachay scored the first goal in his country’s runaway victory.
“It was a surreal experience,” he said. “I think I learned a lot from it, so I’m excited to bring it back here.”
As for the prospect of representing Guam again if called up this November? He’s a bit torn.
“On the one hand it’s a surreal experience to get to represent the country of your heritage at the national level,” he said. “At the same time, it might happen at a crucial point in our high school season … That’s the tough part about it. I want to be there for my teammates and my best friends at the high school level. But I’m sure if I do end up leaving, they’ll have a strong performance without me.”
Until then, Quidachay, described by Romano as a very hard worker with closing speed like a “freight train”, should be a key contributor for the Lightning as they compete in a once-again loaded Front Range League.
His presence, meanwhile, for however long that may be, should go a long way.
“I think he’ll do well on the field in the pure execution and performance,” Romano said. “But I also think he’ll help — because you know how it is when you’re in a challenging environment, a stressful environment. However these guys do this year there are going to be very special games they’re involved in, whether that’s league games, playoff games, whatever. And having a calming influence, a lighthearted smile in an intense moment, I think that’s a really good thing for these guys to have.”
Cream of the crop: 2018 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2018-19 class, school )
MF Omar Castruita, Sr., Boulder; MF Sajji Singh, Sr., Fairview; MF/F Tanner Smith, Sr., Broomfield; MF/F Noah Stover, Sr., Legacy; MF Dylan Weiss, Jr., Silver Creek; F Cooper Harmon, Sr., Fairview; F Nathan Winninger, Sr., Skyline; F Fernando Ruiz, Jr., Centaurus; F Christian Nunez, Jr., Centaurus; F Jesse Bacardi, Sr., Boulder; D Micah Blackburn, Jr., Boulder; D Myles Ellis, Sr., Fairview; D Andres Ocampo, Sr., Broomfield; D Ben Tuka, Sr., Legacy; D/MF Reid Dimond, Sr., Peak to Peak; GK Diego Chavez, Sr., Skyline; GK Hank Dalle-Molle, Sr., Monarch; GK Carter Melton, Jr., Fairview; GK Mario Munoz, Sr., Niwot.
Cade Austin, Sr., Broomfield; Paddy Binns, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Cal Brynestad, Sr., Monarch; Liam Burns, So., Holy Family; Abel Campos, Sr., Holy Family; Ivan Castillo, Sr., Legacy; Darin Chavers, Sr., Holy Family; Michael Chewning, Sr., Peak to Peak; Bryson Cuss, Sr., Prospect Ridge Academy; Zane Doehring, Fr., Frederick; Nathan Dishongh, Sr., Broomfield; Mawolo Easton, Jr., Broomfield; Jesus Gonzales, Sr., Niwot; Will Griffith, Sr., Fairview; Jon Gruener, Sr., Peak to Peak; Blake Hansen, Jr., Legacy; Noah Hubbard, So., Monarch; Jesse Isenhart, Jr., Dawson; Jonathan Jimenez-Flores, Sr., Niwot; Jake Ketchner, Jr., Fairview; Aidan Lantaff, Sr., Silver Creek; Omar Lemus, Sr., Peak to Peak; Raudel Manjarrez, Jr., Centaurus; Sebastien Mazur So., Fairview; Dylan McIntosh, So., Holy Family; Alex Mercier, Jr., Fairview; Andre Metzger, Jr., Dawson; Faolan Moore, Sr., Skyline; Cameron Oldweiler, Sr., Legacy; Sam Phillips, Jr., Boulder; Ryan Primeau, Sr., Skyline; Hector Rubi. Sr., Skyline; Wyatt Sales, Sr., Fairview; Sam Siewierski, Sr., Fairview; Evan Stearns, Jr., Broomfield; Connor Stephan, Sr., Centaurus; Keegan Stobbe, So., Niwot; Rio Sueyoshi, Jr., Dawson; Jordan Swinhart, Sr., Legacy; Manuel Tapia, Sr., Niwot; Jack Tater, Sr., Monarch; Fabian Valencia, Sr., Boulder.