The San Francisco Glens will honor some of The City’s best high school athletes during their game Thursday, and while doing so, fans will be able to watch one of those athletes on the field. During the second home game of the season, the Glens plan to hold a halftime ceremony to honor the AAA and WCAL soccer champions, as well as all-league honorees. Free admission is offered to San Francisco students.
Though the Glens, like much of the Premier Development League, have a roster mainly comprised of players in college, they have one particularly talented youngster in the group: Adrian Medina, set to graduate from Stuart Hall on Friday, is the fresh-faced novice of the squad. Medina is gaining valuable experience in the PDL before he plays at San Francisco State next year.
“He’s able to compete against the best players in California and develop at a fast rate,” said Danny Fallon, who coached Medina at Stuart Hall. At Stuart Hall, not only did Medina miss part of the season while in the clearance process, which can be murky for players who belong to club teams, he also faced limited competition. Though the Knights played a schedule of quality opponents, North Coast Section soccer is split between the fall and winter seasons. Many of the larger schools and leagues play in the winter, as those schools have many of their top athletes playing football during the fall season. Stuart Hall plays eight-man football, and many of the Bay Counties League schools don’t offer football, so the league plays soccer in the fall.
Medina’s impact on the Stuart Hall team was especially clear. He notched a hat trick in an 11-0 rout of San Francisco Waldorf, and with Medina leading an experienced group, the Knights finished second in the BCL Central. They also reached the BCL Central Championship with a dramatic overtime win against Drew before ultimately falling to Urban in the title game. Stuart Hall also reached the NCS Division I Semifinals, beating Cloverdale in the first round and knocking off Oakland Military Institute via penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.
“He was one of our leaders in training, pushing everyone to a high level,” Fallon said. “He’s going from that role to being the youngest with the Glens, but he’ll fit in well.”
His impact at Stuart Hall was clear to more than just his coach and teammates.
“He’s a special player, but more importantly, a great kid,” said head basketball coach and athletic director Charley Johnson.
“Adrian’s got great technical ability,” Fallon added. “Every time he’s on the pitch, he showed his class and ability. When we got to the playoffs, teams did everything they could to cover and double mark him. Everyone knew how much of a threat he was.”
Even at the elevated level of the PDL, Medina’s ability has already stood out as a scorer and ball-handler, and the focus that opponents put on him at the high school level have helped him acclimate. The transitional process for Medina won’t just be from Stuart Hall to the Glens; his play right now will also equip him to compete at the collegiate level. SFSU head coach Javier Ayala-Hil also coaches the Glens.
Thursday’s game, set for 5:30 p.m. at Boxer Stadium, pits the Glens against San Diego Zest FC, the under-23 affiliate of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Many of the PDL teams are direct U-23 affiliates of MLS clubs, including San Diego. The Glens will be looking for their first win on the young season, having dropped a pair of 1-0 decisions to Santa Cruz Breakers FC.
Fans who want to attend the match but not miss the Golden State Warriors as the play in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals are in luck, as the Glens will have the game televised within the stadium next to the concession stands.
Prep Focus writer Ethan Kassel covers high school sports throughout the Bay Area. If you have a story tip, game to watch or player to track, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.