The Championship Win: How Summit Boys Soccer conquered OSAA 6A Competition this Year

Summit Boys Soccer not only brought home 1st place medals, but a top 10 national ranking too


Photo by Cameron Woods

Brooke Leggat, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Just hours prior to the typical, Friday-night array of students piling down to the bleachers in this week’s football game theme attire, Summit Boys Varsity soccer dominates yet another win. The team’s hard work and grit enabled them to reach new heights this year as they dominated West Linn with a 6-0 blowout in the Oregon 6A State Championship in Hillsboro Stadium on November 13. With past runner-up performances at state championships against high-intensity Portland-based teams, the boys rightfully brought 1st place metalware back home to the High Desert this year.

Beginning with pre-season training in August, Storm team captains Nani Deperro, Alex Gringnon and Rory McKee set their sights on a championship win for their senior season. Gracefully mentoring younger players, the boys powered through early-morning wakeups in August in preparation for this year’s game rotation.

“I try to be a vocal leader to keep my teammates organized,” McKee said. “It’s very important that everyone is on the same page. If a teammate does something wrong it’s my job to let them know what they should do next time and bring their confidence up.”

Another backbone of the powerhouse that is Summit Boys Soccer is their head coach Joe LeCascio. Despite only nine months of experience coaching at Summit, LeCascio has certainly fostered close bonds with his players, creating a sense of community like no other.

“Our coach has taught us things that no other team in this state is doing and he knows this sport very well,” junior goalkeeper Jesse Deperro said. “He’s super smart and has gotten to know this team in such a short time, so that gives us a push over everyone else.”

LeCascio, with a background in neuro-athletic performance coaching, has placed an emphasis on active recovery, a tactic that enables the boys to keep their muscles protected after high-intensity games and practices.

“Our active recovery has really allowed us to stay healthy, fit and at the top of our level in order to go out and play our best against any team we play,” Deperro said.

The team’s unmatched team chemistry proved superior to other teams in the Mountain Valley conference consisting of McKay, South Salem, McNary, West Salem, Bend, Mountain View, and Sprague during league games. While South Salem was the only team to hold Summit to a tie, the other teams in the conference were dominated by a 5+ goal deficit, even beating Sprague and McKay with two 8-0 “mercy rule” shutouts.

“We have been playing together throughout the club and high school season and it’s easy to play together when you know exactly how each individual plays,” said senior Paul Fecteau. “We dominate together because we play as one.”

While the team’s chemistry is reflective of time spent practicing together with repeated drills and skill-building, bonding off the field fosters an even stronger connection between players. Pasta feeds and team hikes especially play an important role during the fall season.

“I love going on hikes with the team, because it’s a great way to de-stress and just see each other as friends and not just soccer players,” Deperro said. “Especially if there’s tension from a training or game, this just helps us reconnect as a group.”

Though starting off with scarce student sections at their usual after-school league games, as Summit began to climb up the state and national rankings, more and more students trekked down to the bleachers to watch the boy’s team perform.

“We really appreciate the growth of our student section for soccer,” Mckee said. “Being loud and energetic can really help the home team. It can throw off the opponent and make them nervous.”

Frequent spectator and Summit senior Abbey Shea witnessed the majority of home game wins, often covered in a blanket and eagerly watching the field with a few friends.

“The excitement of the game and seeing someone score makes it so fun,” Shea said. “The student section has definitely grown with the success of the soccer team, the talent of the soccer players keeps students coming back to watch.”

Student Soccer fans even traveled up to Hillsboro Stadium in Portland to watch their beloved team at the 6A OSAA Championships. With high hopes in mind, piles of Summit students filled a portion of the stadium, forming an impressive and incredibly supportive section. Brynn Haley, a junior, cheered especially loud from the sidelines.

“The student section was electric,” Haley said. “It was such an amazing experience to see the boy’s hard work pay off and their excitement following each goal.”

The win, secured by two goals from Nani Deperro, and one from Paul Fecteau, Alex Gringnon, Aiden MacLennen and freshman Kaden Roskowski, who received a free position goal from Nani Deperro, evidently reflects persistent grit and eternal love for the game. 

“A few of us have gone to state championships before and fallen short,” McKee said. “Which is why this win was so meaningful, we won together as a team.”

After countless hours of practice, bonding on and off the field and utmost integrity, Summit Boys Soccer definitely knows how to bring it home. Through continuous perseverance and growth mindset, the boys were able to set the bar high for future Summit Boys Soccer players.