To say someone is greedy often carries a negative connotation, but for Columbia River’s Alex Harris, greed is good.
Because when Harris has a moment of success on the soccer pitch, he wants more.
When he was selected to play in a national all-star selection game through the Elite Clubs National League last November, representing his Washington Timbers club team, he thought upon seeing the talent around him, “I just need to keep working hard.”
In the spring season to follow with River, the junior scored 51 goals, giving him a program-record 58 for his career. The year-round soccer player will dedicate many more hours to the sport during the offseason club circuit, before returning next spring as a senior with more goals in mind.
Coming off of his junior campaign, which also included 12 assists, while helping lead the Rapids to a 23-win season and third-place showing at the Class 2A state tournament, Harris has been selected as The Columbian’s All-Region boys soccer player of the year.
“Alex is a greedy kid — I mean that in a good way,” River head coach Filly Afenegus said. “It’s not built into his DNA to just rest on his laurels. He is just a ferocious competitor.”
Harris is quick to credit his teammates who helped create those opportunities.
Admittedly, he said he didn’t expect to post such high scoring numbers given the quality of players around him. Around game three or four of the season, however, a shift occurred. Harris went from a playmaker in the middle of the attack to playing higher up in the formation and looking more toward goal.
“As the season went on, my teammates just put so much trust in me to put me up there and score goals,” he said.
That trust developed one, because Harris was finishing at an efficient rate, but also because of how the junior carried himself within the team.
As an upperclassmen, he took it upon himself to be a leader, following in the footsteps of older players who helped him as a freshman and sophomore.
“I’ve had juniors in years past that just weren’t quite ready and maybe didn’t even necessarily feel comfortable in that role. But Alex was somebody who you could tell from day one he wanted to be recognized as not only a good soccer player, but also a great leader as well,” Afenegus said.
Though their unbeaten season ended with a loss to Burlington-Edison in the state semifinals, the Rapids bounced back the following day to clinch a program-tying 23-win season and take third at state. Equally important were the relationships Harris and his teammates built.
“I feel like off the field we grew as people too,” Harris said. “Not just through soccer … but we grew and it set us up to be more successful in the real world because of coaching and the bonds that we all made.
“Even after that loss (in the semis) the locker room was tough, but everybody was picking each other up, just carrying each other through it.”
REST OF THE ALL-REGION BOYS SOCCER TEAM
Alejandro Andrade, Union
Senior midfielder/forward was the 4A Greater St. Helens League offensive player of the year for the Titans.
Isaiah Bunda, Union
Senior midfielder/forward was a 4A GSHL first-teamer, scoring the lone goal in a state clinching win over Olympia.
Alex Brown, Columbia River
Senior midfielder and Seattle Pacific commit was a 2A GSHL first-team pick for the 2A league and district champions.
Rosendo Gil, Columbia River
The senior defender was the 2A GSHL defensive most valuable player, leading a squad that had 19 shutouts.
Kieran Halsinger, Camas
Senior forward and first-team all- 4A GSHL pick recorded 22 goals and 17 assists for the Papermakers.
Fedya Henrichs-Tarasenkov, Skyview
The senior is the All-Region goalkeeper after being selected as the 4A Greater St. Helens League defensive player of the year.
Ilia Moscovciuc, Skyview
Senior forward was an all-4A GSHL first-team pick, scoring 11 goals and adding four assists for the Storm.
Pablo Sanchez-Barbosa, Heritage
Sophomore forward, an all-3A Greater St. Helens pick, helped the Timberwolves reach the bi-district tournament.
David Moore, Seton Catholic
Senior midfielder was the Trico League offensive player of the year, leading the Cougars to a league and district championship.
Morlai Sesay, Fort Vancouver
The senior forward was a finisher on a Trapper team that clinched its first state tournament berth in 34 years.
Eli Warne, Mountain View
Senior midfielder was the 3A Greater St. Helens League player of the year for the league champions.