The Heights Herald

Heights athletes compete in All-State games

Giles+marks+up+to+prevent+an+opposing+goal.+Alvarez+waits+to+get+called+into+the+game.
Giles marks up to prevent an opposing goal. Alvarez waits to get called into the game.

Giles marks up to prevent an opposing goal. Alvarez waits to get called into the game.

Kate Rockwell

Kate Rockwell

Giles marks up to prevent an opposing goal. Alvarez waits to get called into the game.

Peter Heryla, Staff Writer

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Elite athletes deserve special recognition. For a high school athlete, that comes by being named one of the best athletes in the state. Two seniors at CHHS, Alex Giles and Manny Alvarez, earned this accolade.

A standout during his final season as a Hylander, Giles earned a spot on the Class A All-State First soccer team. In good company, most of his All-State teammates play for programs that have made it to the state tournament. Many of them go on to play at the collegiate level.

“It’s an honor to be associated with so many good players. I couldn’t believe I was one of them,” Giles said.

His statistics speak for themselves with seven goals and 13 assists in a 14 game season.

“Alex’s quickness, technique and shooting ability make him an amazing soccer player. He’s a total game changer,” Pascal Boehner (11) said.

His highlights included a comefrom-behind victory against Fridley on September 19 and a hat trick against Providence Academy on September 30. Both games showed his leadership on the field as well as his soccer prowess.

“Alex is a player that makes people around him better. He is very selfless and leads by example,” assistant boys soccer coach Luke Sands said.

The All-State game was a memory this athlete will treasure. In front of coaches, parents and college scouts, he put forth a strong performance, making multiple defensive stops throughout the game.

Giles hopes to continue his soccer career in college. It seems likely, since he already has offers from Hamline, Bethany Lutheran and Wisconsin-Superior.

“All of the practices and hard work have paid off. I’m excited to see where I go from here,” he said.

A sports lover, he intends to major in exercise physiology and become a physical therapist.

“I’ve been playing sports all my life. It only makes sense to keep being involved in an athletic career path,” Giles said.

Ninety-seven high school football players in Minnesota were chosen to play in the 2017 All-Star game at US Bank Stadium on December 9. Alvarez joined that elite group of All-State players, many of them coming from football dynasties.

The All-State showcase is the 55th in Minnesota history. The teams are divided into the North All-Stars and the South AllStars. The match-up is broadcast locally on KMSP FOX 9.

In the past, the game has featured numerous Hylander football players, including John Rockwell (1989) and D’Aireus Mock (2015). Hylander coaches like Dave Gehrke (1994) and Matt Townsend (2014) have also coached in the game.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play with and against the best athletes in the state,” Alvarez said.

During his last season as a Hylander, Alvarez had 31 defensive tackles. Eight of them happened in the Minneapolis Edison game. He also played a significant role in games against St. Anthony and Minneapolis South.

“Manny is extremely intense on the field. He goes hard on every play in every game,” fellow player Aaron Severson (10) said.

“He’s continued to improve from the beginning of the year to the end of the season. He is very dominant and can be pretty punishing on the offensive line,” head football coach Matt Townsend said.

Alvarez showed his dominance in the North 28-14 loss to the South All-Stars on December 9. He made big blocks on the offensive end and made notable contributions to the team’s success.

Alvarez is in the process of deciding where to attend college. Wherever he goes, this All-State athlete knows he wants to continue playing football. He’s already considering offers from Southwest Minnesota State and St. Cloud State University. North Dakota State has also expressed interest.

The intensity and determination these All-Star Hylanders have demonstrated are sure to follow Giles and Alvarez wherever they go

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Heights athletes compete in All-State games