Jorge Hernandez figured he'd already reached the pinnacle of soccer after he'd been named to the Denver Post's Class 3A all-state team after the 2012 season. Little did he know he would get to move up another level.
Hernandez, one of the key components of the Coal Ridge High School boys soccer team's run to the Class 3A semifinals this past fall, was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region VII soccer team in December.
"I didn't even know you could do better than that," said Hernandez, who scored 16 goals with 14 assists in his senior season. "I figured that all-state was the top you could get. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later I found this out."
The Titans had a banner season in 2012, going 17-2-0 before losing to the eventual state champion, The Classical Academy, in the state semifinals. And Hernandez was a big part of that, recording 16 goals and 14 assists during the program's best campaign in its history.
Players named to the team were recognized regardless of classification, and they were selected from a four-state region that included Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. Six of the 10 players named to the team were from Colorado: Hernandez, Battle Mountain senior Erick Briones, Broomfield sophomore Noah Chapleski, Cherry Creek junior Miguel Jaime, Classical Academy senior Evan Young and Fairview senior Eric Kroenberg.
Young was named the Class 3A Player of the Year by The Denver Post, and Coal Ridge coach Michael Mikalakis said Hernandez was second in voting in the player-of-the-year voting.
Hernandez was also a first-team selection to the all-3A Western Slope League team.
"Jorge is very talented, and he was definitely the heart of the team," Mikalakis said. "It's hard to say where we'd be if he wasn't on the team. But without his motivation and work ethic, we could have easily fallen short of where we landed last season."