Canby boys soccer, in the midst of a brutal opening schedule to start their 2021 season, has had their hands full to open the year. The Cougars have faced the No. 1 team in the state in the Lakeridge Pacers, as well as a host of talented offenses.
Through it all, junior Sammy Barajas-Silva has starred for the Cougars as a midfielder. On Saturday, Barajas-Silva’s leadership and skill were rewarded when he was announced as the MaxPreps/United Soccer Coaches Oregon Player of the Week.
Barajas-Silva was gracious in accepting the honor this week.
“I was surprised when I heard I had received the award,” he told The Canby Current. “Thanks to my teammates for helping me accomplish this award.”
Despite his obvious talent, Barajas-Silva is actually just in his first full season playing varsity soccer for the Cougs. After helping lead the JV squad his freshman year, Barajas-Silva was sidelined for his entire sophomore campaign with an injury.
Coming back after nearly two years of playing soccer (and icing a lot more), Barajas-Silva has scored one goal and tallied one assist — and has helped immensely to stabilize the Cougar midfield.
“Sammy brings a calming presence to the squad as we can trust both his abilities and intelligence on the field,” said Canby boys soccer coach Ryan McCormack. “All the guys have trust in him, and it’s easy to see why. He sees the game at a high level.”
This past week saw Canby drop two tough losses to Lakeridge and Tualatin — the most heartbreaking of them being the game in which the Cougs jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the high-powered Timberwolves, only to give up five straight scores and fall 2-5.
Despite the loss, McCormack pointed to Barajas-Silva’s ability as a main factor for keeping the game close. His coach says Barajas-Silva has shined for Canby’s interior and allowed them to keep stride with some of the best squads in the state.
Through the first five games of the season, the Cougars have scored almost as many goals as they did in their entire spring campaign.
“What we have been able to take from [the opening game] is both appreciation for how far we’ve come from last year,” said McCormack, “and a belief that when we play well and have everyone, we can play with anyone.”
Barajas-Silva’s award-winning week for the Cougars only bolsters McCormack’s statement of a changing tide for the future of Canby boys soccer.
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!