It was a 2022 4A Boys Soccer season that genuinely kept you on your toes week to week.
Ontario came in underlooked and rolled through with a historical season that brought home their first boy’s soccer title.
Phoenix erased two prior defeats to Henley, stunning the Hornets 2-1 (4-3 in PKs) in the state semifinals to reach their first title game since 2011.
North Marion also got revenge from their regular season defeats against Stayton in a 3-2 stunner over the Eagles in the state quarterfinals.
Newport, Hidden Valley, and Estacada are the other three teams that made quarterfinal runs that will look to improve for next season.
We view 4A being more wide open than ever, with 19 of the 25 players named to the all-state list graduating last Spring.
Teams to Look Out For in 2023
Stayton – The 2022 Oregon West Conference Champions return as our top team, led by early 2023 Player of the Year favorite, forward Ismael Esparza (Senior). Esparza was the only player in the state who earned first-team accolades last season that didn’t graduate. To assist Esparza in the attacking third, the Eagles also return second-team all-state forward Jesse Wright (Senior). To put it into simple terms, we expect this Stayton team to score in bunches this season. They start their season off with a couple of non-league games against potential playoff teams in Molalla and Tillamook. The Eagles will also match up with a chip on their shoulder against league rival North Marion on September 26th in a rematch of the 4A Quarterfinals which could also be a state title preview.
North Marion – Coming off of their semifinal appearance, North Marion loses six seniors. However, the Huskies return second-team all-state forward Aden Carrillo (Senior) as they look to build on a season that saw them get revenge over Stayton when it mattered most. North Marion starts their season off with a couple of non-league matchups, including Molalla and Madras, who both made the playoffs last season before they start league play against Newport and Stayton.
Hidden Valley – Hidden Valley loses four seniors from their Quarterfinal run last Year, in which they lost 1-0 in OT to a Skyline Conference rival and the eventual runner-ups, Phoenix. Hidden Valley returns second-team all-state forward/midfielder Mason Klipfel (Senior), who will aim to be a catalyst in the center of the park for the Mustangs. They start their season with a non-league matchup against Marist Catholic before they face league rival and state semifinalist Henley on September 21st.
Ontario – The 2022 defending champs, Ontario, lose five senior starters, including the co-players of the Year, Jaaziel Chavez and Jamis Gonzalez. However, this is still an experienced group that will be led by the 2022 Coach of the Year, Daniel Dominguez. Ontario has won a playoff game in each of the last four seasons, which is proof that they just reload as opposed to rebuild. The Tigers will open up with an immediate test at home vs. Henley, who is coming off a semifinal appearance in 2022, where they narrowly lost to Phoenix in PKs.
Phoenix – The 2022 runner-up, Phoenix, fell just short of glory after making the state title game as a 14-seed last season. An improbable run for the Pirates saw them fall 1-0 in the state title match after conceding an early goal to Ontario. Phoenix loses five starting seniors from their state title run, so they will have to rely on their underclassmen to bring them back. For as long as we’ve covered 4A Boys Soccer, there’s always been an established soccer culture in Talent, which they certainly will lean on to begin the season. They play a heavy non-league schedule, including a matchup against 3A/2A/1A Quarterfinalists Catlin Gabel before they face off against league rivals Hidden Valley on September 28th and Henley on October 5th.
Other teams that are poised to have a strong 2023 include Henley and Estacada.
Other players worth keeping an eye on this season includes:
Josh Pallesen (Estacada)
Jose Yanez (Marshfield)
Favian Aceves (Philomath)
- North Marion
- Hidden Valley
Considered: Tillamook. Marist Catholic