Stall star to play in North-South

Alan Hernandez will make history Sunday when he becomes the first Stall High School athlete to participate in the North-South All-Star Soccer Game.

“It’s a great honor for me, and a big accomplishment for Stall, a school that no one talks about when it comes to soccer,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez has helped lead a soccer revival that began three years ago when coach Daniel Holbrook too over a struggling program. The team went .500 in Holbrook’s first year in 2010 and has continued to improve. The Warriors went 16-5 this season, including 7-3 in Region 8-AAA.

“We’ve been playing together since we were in kindergarten,” Hernandez said. “We played really well this year, and the key is to keep the momentum going. I have confidence in the program. We have a lot of good young players who have all the tools except experience.”

Hernandez had a solid season scoring 12 goals and accounting for 24 assists to earn all-state and all-Lowcountry honors. Sunday, he will showcase his skills against some of the best players in the state. The games will be played at the Charleston Battery’s Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. The girls’ game is set for noon while the boys kick off at 2 p.m.

Holbrook called Hernandez a leader on the field.

“His playing ability is unparalleled,” the coach said. “He is able to command the ball, command his passes. Most of the time he’s a distributor. He’s another coach on the field. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true.”

Holbrook said the team had talent when he took over, but the players had no direction. He said there was no common goal.

“They were just as good as anyone else, they just had to go out and show it,” he said. “We want to show people that there is good soccer in North Charleston.”

Hernandez is believed to be the first student-athlete from Stall to earn a soccer scholarship. He will play at Spartanburg Methodist.

“I started as a left midfielder and moved to center midfield,” Hernandez said. “I got used to moving around. Soccer has been my passion since I was little. All I wanted to do is find a field and play.”

The Lowcountry will be well represented in Sunday’s games.

Local players on the boys South team include Jonathan Glenn, Academic Magnet; Mateo Gomez, Bishop England; Charlie Heffron, Wando; Alistair Jones, Wando; Mack Koewler, Academic Magnet; Justin Overstreet, Stratford; Ross Rogers, Bishop England; Nick Smillie, James Island; and Hernandez.

Bishop England’s Ed Khouri will coach the South boys team.

Local players on the girls South team include Anna Davis, Colleton County; Grace Gore, Wando; Megan Hunt, Academic Magnet; Madison Jones, West Ashley; Brandon Key, Berkeley; Molly Moriarty, Bishop England; and Hannah Ross, Wando.