In little more than a month's time, Izzy Hernandez watched two of his former high school soccer players help their college teams win NCAA national championships. They just so happened to do so in different sports.
In the BCS National Championship Game on Monday, Jeremy Shelley kicked five field goals to help lift Alabama to a 21-0 victory over LSU. Last month, goalkeeper Scott Goodwin posted a shutout for North Carolina in its victory over UNC-Charlotte to claim the NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship.
Shelley and Goodwin were high school teammates under Hernandez at Broughton (Raleigh, N.C.), where to the two teamed up on back-to-back state championship squads and earned a POWERADE FAB 50 boys’ soccer national title in 2007. Watching Goodwin make save after save on the Tar Heels’ march to the title was something Hernandez was used to, but watching Shelley split the uprights in front of a raucous crowd at the Superdome was a whole new experience.
"That was great," said Hernandez, who has since stepped down as Broughton’s boys’ soccer coach. "I was very happy for him, for a kicker to be in the spotlight like that."
While Alabama’s kicking game was considered a weak point heading into the championship showdown, Shelley ended up providing the game’s only points until midway through the fourth quarter. He finished the night 5-of-7 on his field goal attempts.
"He might have been thinking soccer early on, but by his senior year he was concentrating more with the path football would take him," Hernandez said.
During his high school days, Shelley handled double duty during the fall, kicking for the football team while also playing soccer. Hernandez remembers Shelley hustling over to the football field to get in a workout immediately after soccer practice ended each day for all four years of his high school career.
"He was a great candidate for an extra effort award with everything he was doing," Hernandez said with a laugh.
During Shelley and Goodwin’s sophomore year at Broughton in 2006, the Capitals went 25-1-1, won the Class 4A state title and finished No. 14 in the POWERADE FAB 50. The following year, the Caps went 28-0-1, repeated as state champions and finished No. 1 in the FAB 50. And now they’ve each added another title to their collection as college juniors.