Stack exits program helping Cadets to winning season
By Mike Beas
Blake Stack isn’t a hockey player, but he still managed to produce an impressive hat trick.
The Cascade senior recently wrapped up his third consecutive season as one of the team’s captains — a rare occurrence in high school athletics, regardless of the size of high school.
Stack finished his final season for the Cadets with five goals, four assists and the type of leadership skills expected from someone carrying a 4.13 grade point average and No. 18 class ranking academically.
On the field and off, Stack established himself as someone special early in his high school soccer career.
“I was actually hired two days after the (2017) season started, but even as a freshman Blake stood out,” said Cascade coach Kevin Valenti. “He was working hard and dedicating himself to be better.
“As a sophomore, his teammates voted Blake as a captain. He had the respect of the players and coaches. Blake wants to be the best student he can be and the best athlete he can be.”
Advertised as a defender, Stack nonetheless ended his career with 23 goals and 12 assists.
Cascade finished with a record of 8-7-3 under coach Kevin Valenti. The Cadets lost, 1-0, to Bethesda Christian in the championship match of the Class 1A sectional. Stack was credited with an assist on a goal by teammate Jacob Huffer in the team’s semifinal victory over North Putnam.
Stack did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: You play defender for the Cadets, yet you’ve finished your career with impressive numbers offensively. How, exactly, do you describe your role?
A: I kind of play a little bit of everything. Defender, midfielder and striker. A lot of goals were on corner kick plays, but others were shots that were further out like penalty kicks and free kicks.
Q: What qualities do you feel you possess that earned you the right to be a team captain every year starting as a sophomore?
A: I have a very strong work ethic and am a perfectionist. One of the biggest things that helped me was my knowledge of the game from all the years with my travel team (Avon-based Westside United FC). My coaches taught me a lot of life skills and how to be a better person.
Q: Have you made any college plans, and, if so, what are they?
A: I want to go to college and play soccer there. I want to study physical therapy and become a physical therapist at a hospital somewhere. I used to have some knee issues and some other injuries, and watching the therapists just intrigued me.