From Grassroots to Glory!

Ukiah High Boys celebrate the school’s first-ever NCS title!

Ukiah High School’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have dominated the field and etched their names into the school’s record books. As the kids continued to break records on the pitch, the community rallied behind them, creating an atmosphere of unwavering support and setting new benchmarks for the future. 

The success of these teams reached its pinnacle during the boys’ North Coast Section (NCS) Championship Game, where an astonishing 1200 community members came together to witness history. The love and support showered upon these young student-athletes will undoubtedly remain a cherished memory throughout their lives.

“Achieving success on the field is a testament to these young student-athletes dedication and hard work. What makes it truly special is the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community,” says UHS Boys Coach Shane Huff, President of Mendocino County Soccer Academy (MCSA).

He continues, “A special acknowledgment goes to the UHS Soccer Alumni whose influence has been pivotal in changing the program’s culture, direction, and purpose. Their legacy lives on and leaves an enduring impact.”

But this is just the beginning.

UHS girls have won back-to-back league titles.

Under the expert guidance of MCSA Director and UHS girls’ head coach Hector Toscano, the girls’ varsity team delivered an outstanding season, finishing 14-6-4. With a flawless 10-0-0 league record, they secured back-to-back league championships for the first time in school history. The team also made consecutive Division 2 North Coast Section (NCS) tournament appearances and earned a spot in the top 10 in the NCS Division 2 rankings.

Meanwhile, the boys varsity, under the leadership of Coach Huff and MCSA Director Felipe Chavez, achieved unprecedented success. Finishing the season with a remarkable 17-4-4 record, they clinched the Division 3 NCS title for the first time in school history after back-to-back league titles the previous two seasons. The boys secured their inaugural CIF State Tournament appearance, advancing to the semifinals. Their achievements were reflected in the rankings – #2 in NCS Division 3, #35 in the state, and an impressive #117 in the United States!

What makes these triumphs even more remarkable is that the majority of these athletes have been nurtured and developed by MCSA since the tender ages of 5 and 6 when they played in the club’s Grassroots Academy, where the focus is on skill development rather than wins and losses. Over the years, the kids advanced through MCSA’s development pathway. In fact, MCSA Co-Founder and Director Coach Joe Munoz, who in his own right was the Division 2 National Player of the Year and, along with teammate Shane Huff, won a national championship in college, has coached many of the boys since they were U10s.  As the club celebrates its 10th anniversary, the success of the high school teams validates the club’s development philosophy and serves as an exclamation point to the end of the club’s first decade!

And the momentum doesn’t stop there.

MCSA is a youth development program like no other in the county. Word has spread about the club’s proven curriculum and talented professional coaching staff. This spring features a record 16 select teams and Grassroots Academy registrations overflowing across the county from Ukiah, Mendocino, Willits, and Laytonville. The club’s impact is evident as kids learn skills and play at levels never before seen in the area.

This success story speaks to the synergy between MCSA and Ukiah High School. The commitment to developing young talent from an early age has paid off in victories on the field and in creating a tight-knit community that rallies behind its youth.

Huff says, “Join us in celebrating our student-athletes. We’re proud of their success at Ukiah High School and are grateful for the high bar they’ve set for themselves and future players.”

As we reflect on past accomplishments, we eagerly anticipate what’s next. With the foundation laid by MCSA, Ukiah High School soccer is poised for continued greatness. The next decade promises to be even more remarkable, with the potential for more records to be broken and new milestones to be achieved.

So, don’t go anywhere; we’re just getting started.

Get your child involved in this spring’s Grassroots Academy and our Spring Break Camp.

For questions, contact club director of administration Ian Fitzpatrick.