Antioch High boys’ soccer makes playoffs for first time since 2013

Graphic by Coach Conrad Diaz.

By Luke Johnson 

Lucky number seven is the charm.

After six-straight losing seasons, the boys’ soccer team at Antioch High School reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

The Panthers (13-8-1) have a fierce offensive attack with four players finishing in the top eight for goals scored in the Bay Valley Athletic League.

At the top of the list is senior striker Ian Scheringer, who scored 21 goals in 17 matches — far more than anyone else in the league.

However, head coach Conrad Diaz said senior goalkeeper Melvin Morales is the real MVP. Morales is averaging 0.917 goals allowed per game this season.

Diaz said the Panthers are only getting better with the roster full of youth. There are three freshmen currently on the varsity team — one of whom Diaz gave extremely high praise.

“I think he can be the Najee Harris of soccer,” Diaz said.

Freshman midfielder Alvaro Picon only played 11 matches, but made his presence known with eight goals and 11 assists. Picon is also part of the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program — which recruits the highest caliber players around the country to train them to potentially play for the U.S. men’s national team.

The Antioch boys’ soccer program reached the peak of its success a decade ago by winning back-to-back league championships in 2009 and 2010 respectively — the only two BVAL Championships in school history. Shortly thereafter, the Panthers finished seasons with goal differentials of 17-48 (2015) and 25-89 (2016). This season Antioch has a goal differential of 50-20, so far.

The Panthers faced Division I opponents in the Bay Valley Athletic League but, will compete in the Division II bracket of the North Coast Section Playoffs. Diaz said this gives his team an advantage, because his players are battle tested.

Antioch will play at Vallejo High School (17-4-4) in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday evening. Vallejo has a goal differential of 88-29 this season.

“They scored 88 goals, but they beat a team 18-0, and they’re playing Division IV and V teams,” Diaz said.

The furthest Antioch has gone in the NCS Playoffs was the semifinal round in 1995. For Diaz, this his return to the NCS Playoffs after a 45-year hiatus. He last competed in the NCS Playoffs as a player with Mission High School (San Francisco) in 1975.

the attachments to this post:

AHS Panthers Boys’s Soccer Team History

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