Saturday, May 25, 2013
By Paul Betit email@example.com
Byeong Woo Jung, right, is a South Korean who plays soccer for Greater Portland Christian. Jung is living with his classmate, Sam Whiting, left, and his family in Scarborough.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
D.J. Nicholas, North Yarmouth Academy sophomore: Nicholas scored a total of eight goals to lead the Panthers to a 3-2 win against Traip Academy, a 10-2 win against Wells and a 3-1 win against Freeport. Nicholas has scored three or more goals in a game four times this season to bring his season total to 16.
Griffin Drigotas, Kennebunk junior: Scored his second goal of the game with two minutes left to lift the Rams to a 3-2 victory against Cheverus.
Ted Hart, Greely junior: Scored three goals to propel the Rangers to a 5-1 win at Fryeburg.
Fran Mendoza, York senior: Scored two goals and had an assist to lead the Wildcats to a 5-0 victory at Naples.
AREA TOP FIVE
"When I came here everything was new (to me), and playing soccer helped me build relationships with people," said Byeong, whose family lives near Seoul, South Korea.
"When he first came he really didn't have any trouble fitting it," said Sam Whiting, a junior from Scarborough. Byeong lives with the Whiting family in Scarborough. "Everybody accepted him. They expected him to be a studious Korean kid who just studies for eight hours every night. He was really outgoing and he fit right in."
Byeong hadn't played much soccer before coming to Maine.
"I didn't like (soccer) because I was really chubby 10 years ago and I didn't like to work out," he said.
Byeong is no longer chubby and in his third season as a midfielder with the Lions, has developed into one of the top players on the Western Class D team.
"He's very athletic and he's got a ton of heart," said Chris Spaulding, in his fourth season as coach of the Lions. "He's very fast and he'll battle for everything."
Byeong scored his first career goal for the Lions on Sept. 18 on a 2-0 victory against Rangeley.
"He definitely has had the ability to score a ton more (goals) before that, but he played primarily a defensive role and he didn't have the opportunity," Whiting said. "Now he's one of our better players."
Byeong grew up in a country that has become an international soccer power in the past decade.
In 2002, when Japan and South Korea hosted the World Cup, Byeong was in the stadium for one of his country's games in pool play. That year, South Korea defeated Spain and Italy in knockout games, then lost to Germany in the semifinals, finally finishing fourth.
This past summer, South Korea defeated England in the quarterfinals en route to capturing the bronze medal at the Olympics in London.
"I was actually with my friends watching it on television, and everybody was screaming and jumping," Byeong said. "It was real exciting."
Byeong still doesn't get much of a chance to play at home.
"Soccer is now one of my favorite activities but back home, I really don't have friends around who play," he said. "I just run for a half-hour every day."
Byeong, who enrolled at Greater Portland Christian on the recommendation of a family friend who went there, is scheduled to graduate a year early next June.
He wants to go to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which has campuses in Florida and Arizona, to become a pilot.
PORTLAND FORFEITED its Sept. 6 victory against Deering for using an over-age player.
According to Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli, the player, who was born in eastern Africa, was unsuccessful in his attempt to obtain documentation showing that he was born in 1994, which would have made him eligible to play.
Documents issued when he emigrated to the United States indicated he was born in 1992, making him 20 and too old to play high school sports in Maine.
"He was in the process of filing an appeal with the (Maine Principals' Association), but he was unable to get the proper documentation," Frenzilli said. "He played for about 10 minutes in that game. When we realized he was too old to play, we self-reported."
Portland had won that game, 2-0.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Scarborough travels to Windham for a 7 p.m. game Saturday in what shapes up as a showdown between two of the top teams in the SMAA.
The Red Storm were 5-0-2 going into Tuesday night's game against Deering at Memorial Field in Portland, and the Eagles were 5-1 going into Tuesday afternoon's game in South Berwick against Marshwood.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: