Simon Hoffman, Jr

Profile Updated: September 22, 2012
Class Year: 2006
Residing In: Torrance, CA USA
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story:

Does it have to be funny? How about sarcastic humor?

Allow me to set scene. Entering the 05/06 boy's soccer season the team was returning 11 seniors and 9 starters. Only one injury was season long, though the player lost was an important starting midfielder. Nonetheless, all the boys were pumped. Coming off an undefeated league record for the 04/05 season (9-0-1) the confidence flowed in their veins. Coach Mike Shimizu does his best to keep the lads humble and make sure the work was still put in. Week four comes and so do the only other undefeated teams left in the area in reigning CIF winners Santa Monica (Div. III) and Palos Verdes (Div. IV at the time). Both teams show up with intent to bring West back to earth. However, our Warriors meet the challenge and walk away with 1-0 victories in both. With a number 1 Ranking in the South Bay in hand, not even a 1-0 loss to a team out played and out-shot (23-4) could break their spirit - well maybe for an hour - in the South Tournament.

Bring on league play! With a target on their backs the Warriors (14-1-1) knew the Bay League would not come easy that year. With three starters away on ODP duty, they hit a bump in the road against Mira Costa at home suffering the first league loss (2-0) in 13 league matches played. The Good: This loss was avenged at Mira Costa (5-0) the second time around with the team at full strength. The Bad: Peninsula was now in striking range for the title. The team from the hill, revived from a 2005 last place finish with returning coach Jim Lilly - a West Torrance Alumni himself - and also several returning starters, did not go easy the first time. In a fierce battle of possession the Panthers did well to keep the brown and gold from establishing their power house offense. In the end, an obstacle to this group of Warriors was merely a buffalo that just needed to be cornered. A victory (1-0) led to a second consecutive league title with a 9-1-0 record (23-2-1 overall).

To grandmothers house they go...the final stretch: CIF playoffs. The number 2 ranked Warriors (Southern Section Div. II) get seeded with a team that could easily have been a quarter-final team. It takes overtime to knock of the strong wild card Villa Park. Although a win is the outcome, the ego check straightened the boys out. Two straight road wins and home they come for the semifinals. With number 1 Santa Barbara taking an early exit, the path was clear...beat number 3 Temecula Valley! Unfortunately, injuries left gaps in the Warriors shape at times and the season ended on a 2-0 loss. Temecula would go on to beat Loyola (a team West had already beat twice that year) by the score of 2-0 for the CIF title.

Now that you've experienced the ride in a nutshell we can explain the opening. Here's the funny now but not-so-funny then part. The West High principal at the time walks over to one of the players and says "Better luck next year." Sounds like a good thing to say. Too bad he didn't do his research. That player happened to be me, a senior center back in tears that just saw a title with his friends and peers slip away. At least looking back I can laugh and say "Yea, Thanks." After all it was a great year I obviously never forgot.

Varsity Roster: James Balba-17 (09), Ashkon Banehashemi-5 (07), George Bannura-6 (07), James Belikow-14 (06), Marco Bonello-20 (06), Ibrahim Elaffas-11 (06), C Branden Garcia-1 (06), Jacob Gee-4 (06), Simon Hoffman-13 (06), Tyler Krumpe-3 (08), Vinicius Lima-12 (06), Chris Markstadt-9 (07), Aric Morales-16 (09), Shanon Murphy-23 (08), C Rhys Orpe-2 (07), Ryan Oster-15 (08), Andy Payne-21 (06), Adrian Ramirez-10 (06), Dustin Sisco-8 (07), Tommy Smith-7 (06), Jessica Sam-Stat Girl (06), Mike Shimizu-Head Coach

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