Four Alaska soccer players converge on Whitworth University

August 31, 2017

Jack Sedor soccer

Jack Sedor

With the addition of newcomers Jack Sedor and Azzam Azzam, the number of Alaskans on the Whitworth University men’s soccer team has doubled since last year.

The new faces joined Whitworth veterans Blake Hepler and Britton Clifford to give the NCAA D3 Pirates in Spokane, Washington, four former all-stars in the Cook Inlet Conference.

In 2015, all four players were named to the all-CIC team.

Today, they make up a big reason why Whitworth is picked to win the Northwest Conference.

The Pirates are trying to win four straight conference championships for the first time in school history, and the coaches like their chances as they received six of eight first-place votes in the preseason poll.

Azzam Azzam soccer

Azzam Azzam

Sedor, of Dimond High fame, was a 2-time Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and spent 2016 at Marshall University, a NCAA D1 school in Huntington, West Virginia.

He made two starts and played in three games with the Thundering Herd before sitting out last season to retain a year of eligibility.

Sedor should make an immediate impact at Whitworth, bringing a technical skill set highlighted by his tactical awareness.

Azzam, of Service High fame, was a three-time all-conference pick and one of the best players from Alaska.

He received Gatorade votes in each of his final two years of prep play.

Blake Hepler soccer

Blake Hepler

The marvelous midfielder was selected as his high school team’s MVP following his senior season and as the squad’s offensive player of the year as a junior.

Hepler, of South High fame, is a returning player who saw action in 18 of the team’s 19 matches.

The forward-turned-defender started 13 times, including four in conference. He attempted five shots.

“Blake is a great fit and really brings the whole package,” coach Morgan Cathey told the school’s website. “He is very aggressive and quick as a 1-v-1 defender, yet loves to get forward into the attack.”

Britton Clifford soccer

Britton Clifford

Britton, of South High fame, started 10 of 19 games last season, including seven in the Northwest Conference.

At 6-foot-1, he’s the tallest of the four Alaskans and uses his size and strength to his advantage.

“He reads the game very well and the ball seems to somehow always find him with time and space,” the coach said. “He is an awesome athlete and has great technical ability. He will compete in a number of positions for us and his mindset to constantly want to grow and seek feedback will propel him to great success.”