Prep soccer preview 2022: DE Seth Fao focuses on shifting ahead

Sixth in a collection of tales profiling prime highschool soccer gamers by place. Right this moment, Seth Fao, Wilmington Banning defensive lineman.

When COVID-19 started to close down lecture rooms and sports activities actions in March 2020, 14-year-old freshman Seth Fao was reeling. His mom was identified with breast most cancers. His father was present process dialysis each different day. Soccer exercises stopped and he abruptly needed to study faculty classes through a pc at residence.

“It was really hard,” he stated. “I was distracted at home.”

His grades deteriorated quickly at Anaheim Servite Excessive. He’d ultimately try and started to be schooled at residence. There could be no soccer his sophomore 12 months.

“We tried our best through a computer screen,” Servite soccer coach Troy Thomas stated. “It was a tough time.”

Fao returned to his neighborhood faculty, Wilmington Banning. A plan was put collectively to present him an opportunity to catch up academically and resume enjoying soccer. At 6 foot 3 and 230 kilos, Fao has at all times had the expertise to be a standout. But faculty recruiters have been leaving him with a blunt message.

“I learned no matter how good a football player you are, you’re only going to go as far as your grades take you,” he stated. “It’s serious.”

Fao is on his solution to being the comeback pupil of the 12 months within the classroom. He has been making up courses, bettering his grade-point common and placing himself in place to just accept a university scholarship supply when it comes. And it’s coming.

He’s a senior defensive finish with the agility to chase down quarterbacks. At Banning final season, he was an All-Metropolis choice. He performed operating again, receiver, security, cornerback and linebacker. He additionally was a starter for the volleyball staff. He comes from a household of older brothers who performed soccer at Banning and Lengthy Seaside Poly.

Rising up, Fao stated his 350-pound older brother, Sergio, would toughen him up, whether or not it was competitors for meals or sitting on the sofa. “When I go against people my size, I don’t feel I get hurt,” he stated.

Regaining his focus within the classroom helps him transfer ahead in life.

Banning’s Seth Fao, middle, runs as Peninsula Excessive defenders attempt to cease him within the second half throughout their win at Peninsula Excessive College in Rolling Hills Estates, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Instances)

“It was a unique situation with a lot of outside stuff on top of academic stuff,” Thomas stated. “He’s a good kid. I really liked him. He’s definitely a kid that can play and start in the Trinity League. He had a lot going on with his family. We tried to be there for him as much as we could. At the end of the day, he made a decision best for him and his family.”

In the course of the spring, Fao confronted extra well being points involving his household. His father had surgical procedure. His mom continued with most cancers therapies. Soccer is his alternative to set free his feelings and escape these points. He has loads of supporters serving to him to remain on monitor to finish his work within the classroom in order that faculty choices stay viable.

He very a lot needs to see his mom and father within the stands this fall.

“There’s no other feeling when you have your family and everyone cheering you on,” he stated. “It’s euphoric.”

Defensive linemen to observe

Title, College, Ht., Wt., Yr., Remark

Sinn Brennan, Los Alamitos, 6-5, 235, Sr. Spent summer time remaking his physique

Cameron Bryant, Sierra Canyon, 6-4, 265, Sr. Stanford commit is powerful, athletic

Lucas Conti, Corona Centennial, 6-5, 260, Sr. Arizona commit is one other efficient Husky QB chaser

T.A. Cunningham, Los Alamitos, 6-6, 265, Jr. High switch from Georgia comes extremely regarded

Seth Fao, Banning, 6-3, 230, Sr. Makes use of athleticism to get off line quick

TJ Ford, Chaminade, 6-2, 300, Jr. You don’t transfer him out of the best way

Ashton Sanders, L.A. Cathedral, 6-3, 295, Sr. Cal commit is pressure inside

Jaggar Tavai, Gardena Serra, 6-0, 285, Sr. He’s the fifth brother to star on protection

Matayo Uiagalelei, St. John Bosco, 6-5, 265, Sr. Is usually a bodily, dominant participant

Frederick Williams, Gardena Serra, 6-5, 240, Sr. Edge rusher can be making sacks in bunches

Tomorrow: Weston Port, San Juan Hills linebacker.