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Six net All-CIF honors

Soccer: Three Crescenta Valley High and three St. Francis players pick up prestigious accolades Tuesday after enjoying splendid seasons.

March 23, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • St. Francis High's Eric Verso is an All-CIF first-team pick.
St. Francis High's Eric Verso is an All-CIF first-team… (Raul Roa, Glendale…)

GLENDALE — Most athletes might be satisfied being bestowed with all-league honors. Anything more might be considered a windfall.

For six local boys' soccer players, their presence on the field proved to be a bonus and their bodies of work were recognized.

After reaching the quarterfinals in their respective divisions, three St. Francis High and three Crescenta Valley players received All-CIF recognition after the CIF office unveiled its seven division lists Tuesday afternoon.

Mark Verso, Eric Verso and Jake LaPorte of St. Francis were named to the Division I team after helping St. Francis finish second in the Mission League, while Crescenta Valley's Pavle Atanackovic, Alex Berger and Salar Hajimirsadeghi received recognition in Division IV after playing key roles in the Falcons winning their second Pacific League championship in a row.

The Versos were named to the first team and LaPorte was placed on the third team. Atanackovic earned a spot on the first team, while Berger and Hajimirsadeghi were selected to the second and third team, respectively.

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For Mark Verso, he couldn't have asked for a better season. The sophomore forward was tabbed the Mission League's Offensive Player of the Year after finishing with 22 goals and six assists for 50 points.

Sharing All-CIF accolades with his older brother meant something more.

"Playing with my brother has been a great experience," Mark Verso said. "Being named All-CIF with him is even better.

"It's a great honor to get this award because there are a lot of incredible players that come out of the division. I wanted to be an impact player and I had to do that by coming out and playing hard."

Eric Verso, a senior forward and a former All-Area Player of the Year who will attend Stanford, endured a tough season in which he battled a nagging hamstring injury. However, he managed to register 11 goals and two assists in parts of eight matches.

The elder Verso also netted four goals in three playoff matches.

"It's definitely an honor despite playing in a small amount of games," Eric Verso said. "To be recognized for all of my accomplishments and playing through the injury made it real special.

"It was not really a goal to get All-CIF. I had higher goals, like winning a CIF or Southern California Regional championship. It's great to get this along with my brother. I'm really proud of him because he worked so hard during the offseason. He worked hard to get All-CIF and he's got a bright future ahead of him."

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