Stanton’s Ethan Alesch Wins Men’s Soccer Player of the Year
Over the past four years of soccer training at Stanton, Blue Devils coach Steve Stone has seen it time and time again.
In an instant, an opponent thought he might have a chance to overtake Ethan Alesch. A fraction of a second later …
“You don’t expect him to be there, and then, boom!” said Pierre. “He’s there, never looking like he has to scramble.”
Jumping high, standing strong and blocking almost every attack in sight, the Blue Devils senior center-back Alesch concluded his high school career as the Times-Union’s All-First Coast Player of the Year in men’s football.
For Alesch, winning is part of a balancing act.
Balance defensive responsibilities with the ability to attack.
Balancing your athletic pursuits with the academic challenges of one of Florida’s most demanding public schools.
“The hardest part was balancing football with school and everything else in my life, with club football three or four times a week and going to a tough school,” Alesch said. “I had to balance everything correctly.”
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Finding that balance helped him become the anchor for Stanton’s resilient defensive unit as the Blue Devils advanced to their second straight Florida High School Athletic Association final.
The Blue Devils ousted Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach and Daytona Beach Seabreeze en route to the semifinals, a narrow loss to Tampa Jesuit.
Ethan Alesch first played football at the age of 3
Alesch had his first encounter with football at the age of 3, and aside from a stint in central midfielder during his club career, he said he had spent most of his footballing life in the back row.
By the time he joined the Blue Devils, his defensive skills were already apparent, earning him a stint on the varsity squad before the end of his first season.
“When he introduced himself to Stanton in first year, he always had an air of confidence,” Stone said. “He was a good smart player, a team player, he got along well with his teammates and everyone sort of picked him out as someone he could emulate.”
He quickly established himself as a solid barrier in front of the goal line in the organized fortifications put in place by longtime head coach Stone, a West 13th Street school institution for nearly three decades.
For the entire season, Stanton has allowed just 10 goals, with Alesch at the heart of a stable and solid four-line.
Only two teams have managed to score more than once against the Blue Devils all season: Mandarin beat Stanton 2-1 in the Gateway Conference Championship, and Tampa Jesuit rallied with two goals overdue to end in their class 5A semifinal playoff series.
Alesch’s sense of balance wasn’t just for the pitch, either.
While his opponents may have first seen him as a ram standing just a notch below six and a half feet, Alesch has also demonstrated throughout his football career that he is just as strong in the game. mental side of the game.
“The aggressiveness is huge,” he said, “and so is having the confidence to be able to tackle, while being composed to be able to play the ball from behind.”
Alesch then plans to study in the state of Florida, where he is preparing to study business administration. The Seminoles do not have a varsity team in men’s soccer, but he hopes to stay in the game thanks to the varsity club program.
At Stanton, he leaves a legacy of leadership.
“All the players have come to him, whether they are defenders, forwards, midfielders, non-starters,” said Stone. “It was just his ability to blend in with everyone and get a little more out of it than they thought they could.”
Ethan Alesch, men’s football
Age: 18 years old
Plot: The great central-back commanding helped Stanton advance to the Class 5A semifinals. … Scored three goals and an assist. … Starter on consecutive qualifying for state semi-finals.