Virrey follows his goal |

Virrey follows his goal

Sun File photo/Emma GarrardTruckee High grad Al Virrey, shown in a game against Sparks this past season, received a scholarship to play at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon. Virrey was a three-year varsity starter and helped lead the Wolverines to two state titles.

Truckee High soccer coach Hernan Valdivia predicted before the 2005 season that sophomore standout Al Virrey would be an offensive powerhouse for years to come.

Nearly three years after that insightful presage, the 2008 Truckee grad remains a formidable threat to any opposing defense.

Treasure Valley (Ore.) Community College coach Ryan Masingill gathered as much in September of last year, when Virrey scrimmaged against his players during campus visit.

“I liked him,” Masingill said. “I thought he had a big upside as an attacking center midfielder, or anywhere else.”

Banking on Virrey’s skills and experience to bolster his new program, the second-year head coach offered a scholarship worth $3,000 ” $1,500 for both his freshman and sophomore years. Virrey accepted.

He leaves this morning for Treasure Valley Community College, where he will join the Chukars for the first day of practice on Aug. 14. The school is located in Ontario on the eastern edge of Oregon, near the Idaho state line a short drive from Boise.

“It’s great,” Virrey said of the opportunity. “It’s what I like to do and what I do best. I’ve been playing soccer my whole life.”

And with a fair amount of success in recent years.

At Truckee, Virrey ” who played forward and midfield ” earned first team All-League and All-State recognition his junior and senior seasons and was voted to the All-State second team as a starting sophomore.

He was not a one-man show, either, as he helped guide talented Wolverine squads to the Nevada 3A state title as a sophomore and senior. His junior year the Wolverines finished runner-up in the state championship.

“Everything about high school soccer was fun; I got two state championships with Truckee,” Virrey said, adding that he’ll miss playing alongside his childhood friends most. “I’ve been playing with them pretty much since I was 5 years old.”

Although Virrey can play any position on the field, he prefers attacking midfielder because he’s “always had a nose for the goal.”

In addition to scoring, Masingill envisions his incoming freshman distributing the ball with precision to teammates on the attack.

“I think he’ll be a good passer who can make that final dangerous pass that leads to a goal,” the coach said. “I’m hoping he’ll be on our assist leaderboard and will help control the game, slowing it down and speeding it up based on what the game calls for.”

Virrey will be competing for a starting position against 27 other freshmen and two sophomores, said Masingill, who’s entering his third year as head coach of the school’s men’s soccer program, which began in 2001.

“(Virrey) will have every shot in the world to do whatever he wants,” Masingill said.

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