Boys soccer MVP nets award for selfless playThat senior Brian Park was named the Korean American Interscholastic Activities Conference soccer tournament’s Most Valuable Player is unusual, considering that his team, Taejon Christian International School, lost the championship to Seoul Foreign School last month. But the award speaks volumes to Park’s prowess on the field.
The tournament MVP award usually goes to the star player on the winning team. In Park’s case, he was nominated by the opponent’s coach when it was clear that he had outplayed everybody at the tournament. “In every game he played, he made a difference,” said Brent Frazier, his coach.
Park, who has been a starter on the TCIS varsity team since his freshman year, has been named to the KAIAC All-Conference team thrice and to the Far-East Tournament team twice.
His coach praised Park’s playing as a midfielder as “very unselfish.”
“He’s not a showy player, just determined,” Frazier said. “He keeps putting pressure on the other team to get the ball coughed up.”
TCIS’s second-place finish in both the KAIAC conference and the tournament signaled a notable step up in the team’s overall competitiveness. It was the first time the team made it into the KAIAC finals. In the Far-East tournament, which consists mainly of U.S. Department of Defense schools in Korea and Japan along with some smaller schools in KAIAC, Taejon took first place.
Park attributes his team’s strength in part to its large percentage of seniors, who came up through the ranks together. “We really decided to win,” said Park. Frazier, who has coached soccer for 22 years, said, “I don’t think I’ve coached a team that loves the game more than these guys.”
The team benefits from good leadership, as well. This year, Frazier was awarded Coach of the Year for the second time. But he was quick to share his glory with his star player. Park frequently made suggestions about the lineup to his coach, “and nine times out of 10 we would do it his way,” Frazier said. “I welcomed his input.”
Park is hoping to attend either the University of Wisconsin or Carnegie Mellon next fall. Although soccer did not factor into his college choices, he plans to continue playing intramural sports. “He’ll make a difference in any community he is a part of,” said his coach.
by Kirsten Jerch