Juneau-Douglas' Ezra Geselle, left, competes against Thunder Mountain's Michael Alon during a game at TMHS in May.

Juneau-Douglas' Ezra Geselle, left, competes against Thunder Mountain's Michael Alon during a game at TMHS in May.

Four JDHS soccer players land on college rosters

As seniors, Juneau-Douglas High School soccer players Oswaldo Magallanes, John Scudder, Hunter Pegues and Treyson Ramos served as the spine of the Crimson Bears’ formation. With Magallanes in midfield, Scudder at forward, Ramos on the back line and Pegues as one of the state’s best goalkeepers, JDHS was talented at every level this year.

The Crimson Bears’ ability caught the eye of college recruiters, with the four recent graduates landing on college rosters.

 

Oswaldo Magallanes, midfielder, University of Redlands

Magallanes — JDHS’ creative leader in the middle — will be heading to a NCAA Division III top-20 program at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California.

“When you’re looking at top-20 teams in Division III, it mirrors a lot of a Division I program,” Magallanes said. “They train and play at a Division I level but they’re different in the sense that it’s highly academic and academics are first. That was the first thing I looked at in colleges.”

The University of Redlands Bulldogs made it to the second round of the NCAA Division III championships last year, winning 3-2 in overtime against Whitworth before falling 1-0 to Trinity College. Redlands had a 17-4-2 record in 2015 and were the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champs.

Magallanes, who’s one of the most skilled seniors in the state, knows what he has to do to adapt his play to the next level.

“Every kid that comes in as a college freshman, the biggest difference is the physicality and the speed of play. Everything is faster and and everyone is stronger. I am going to have to hit the weight room hard,” Magallanes said.

Redlands coach Ralph Perez has a 30-year long coaching resume that includes time as an assistant for the U.S. Men’s National Team and Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy.

“He seems like a really good guy and mirrors a lot of what (JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart) does here,” Magallanes said. “I thought it would be a perfect fit. I just want to play for those kinds of coaches. He’s very experienced.”

Magallanes made powerpoints and travelled to a tournament in San Diego with an Anchorage club team to market his skills to Perez and his coaching staff, an effort he said Juneau athletes can’t be afraid to take.

“You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there and contact people who can help you,” Magallanes said. “I talked to Gary a lot. Sometimes you have go down south and play a tournament even though it’s costly, and I knew it was costly, because we’re from Alaska. You might have to make some sacrifices but I knew it was all worth it.”

 

Hunter Pegues, goalkeeper, Southern Oregon University

JDHS goalkeeper Hunter Pegues single (and sometimes doubl) handedly kept his team in a 70-degree, double overtime penalty kick war of attrition with South High School at the state tournament this year.

Though the Crimson Bears lost the heartbreaker, Pegues, whose save in the penalty kick stage gave JDHS a brief advantage, cemented his name as one of Alaska’s top talents between the uprights.

Pegues will get a chance to further his career at Southern Oregon University this fall as the Raiders’ goalkeeper of the future. It’s a position he says he’s destined to play.

“I like to stand out, I dress differently, I’m loud, I like attention,” Pegues said. “I guess I am just different in a lot of ways and being keeper is cool because you have all the guys trying to score, everyone is trying to make this awesome shot and it’s fun to be the guy who blocks their shot and ruins their game.”

Pegues was a four-year starter with JDHS at the position and remembers taking shots from more experienced players in his freshman year described as a trial by fire, a process that’ll start anew at SOU.

“My freshman year at JDHS I had these guys who had been doing it for four years and it’s not easy having a freshman keeper back there who has no confidence and is new to all of this. I had to grow up fast,” Pegues said, adding that he experienced a similar situation while trying out for SOU. “Tryouts were super scary. I thought I would show up and they would be like, ‘Hey everyone, this is Hunter,’ but everyone was just getting ready for regular practice and I had to just jump into their drills. The play was very fast.”

At SOU he’ll benefit from working behind two junior goalkeepers and plans to redshirt his freshman year to ease into the program.

“I wanted something like that, two guys who are cool with different skills and who can show you the ropes,” said Pegues, who declined opportunities to hit the field sooner at junior colleges in order to play at a four-year school.

Pegues plans to study education at SOU and become a teacher.

 

John Scudder, forward, Nazareth College

Forward John Scudder’s nose for goal — which led him to a six-goal single-game JDHS record this year in a game against Thunder Mountain High School — has landed him a spot at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.

Scudder didn’t always know he was going to play college soccer. Concussion-related problems kept him off the pitch for a while before he came back to the game.

“For a while I didn’t want to (play in college),” Scudder said. “As I got back into soccer more I realized it was something I didn’t want to let go of yet.”

The transition to a much bigger city will be jarring for Scudder, but he has family on the East Coast.

“It’s going to be really different than Juneau because it’s in a bigger city, but one thing I like about Nazareth though is that it’s a smaller school, about 2,000 or 3,000 people, so it has that community feel,” he said.

JDHS assistant coach Mike Garcia’s son, Ben Garcia, is a friend of Scudder’s. Garcia turned Scudder onto the program and Scudder said he is looking forward to the camaraderie.

“One thing he said was that your team are your instant friends, so that will be a lot of fun,” Scudder said, adding that Garcia is back for the summer and will help him train for the “faster and more physical game” he’s expecting to see at the college level.

Scudder plans to study physical therapy.

 

Treyson Ramos, defender, Saint Martin’s College

Treyson Ramos, a speedy defender and two-sport star at JDHS, will continue stifling forwards at Saint Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington. Though Ramos might also try and walk onto Saint Martin’s basketball team, he chose soccer after finding a roster spot at his ideal school.

Ramos made his decision to play soccer after a lot of deliberation.

“When we first went down to visit I talked to the basketball coach, so I thought I might walk on and try to play with them,” Ramos said. “Then I got a call from the soccer coach because the dean of admissions came down for a college fair. We were emailing and she knew I liked playing soccer, and this was later, like in May, when I was deciding. The coach said they had a couple spots open. I don’t know how much I will get to play at first but I want to be a part of the team.”

Like JDHS’ other seniors, Ramos plans on hitting the weight room hard to get used to college-level play.

“They’re (Division II) and they’re probably really good and I’ll probably need to get a lot stronger. They sent me a training program for the summer so I’ll be working out a lot and also trying to make my touch stronger,” Ramos said. “I’ll probably play outside back or something, they have a different formation than us. They play a 4-3-3 and we (JDHS) play a 3-4-3.”

Being in the Seattle area was Ramos’ first choice, and Saint Martin’s offered the best deal.

“I applied to Seattle U and I got in but they’re super expensive. Saint Martin’s offered me the most money and it’s really close to Seattle,” he said, adding that he’s leaning toward a business degree but is still weighing his options.

“I’ve thought about business, … but I don’t really know what I want to do,” he said. “I’ll probably take general courses my first year.”

• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at kevin.gullufsen@juneauempire.com or at (907) 523-2228.

Juneau-Douglas' Trayson Ramos hands out a rose during senior night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in May.

Juneau-Douglas’ Trayson Ramos hands out a rose during senior night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in May.

Juneau-Douglas senior Oswaldo Magallanes is shown in action at the state tournament.

Juneau-Douglas senior Oswaldo Magallanes is shown in action at the state tournament.

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