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Friday, June 15, 2012
Region IV U16s: FRAM Premier is favored

By Chris Ackels

If you don’t know the name FRAM Premier, you probably should. The Under-16 team’s roster includes nine Division I commitments and together they have won the South California State Cup and the Far West Regional Premier League this season. And coming into the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships, they are one of the more feared teams in the age group.

“We have a little bit of everything,” says coach Rich Boon. “We have some very athletic players, we have some very technical players… we really have a great mix of what it takes to be successful.”

Boon began coaching this squad last season, after a large group of players left Arsenal to play at FRAM. And while team transitions often involve politics and drama, Boon says this group is remarkably even-keeled.

“There is no drama on this team,” he says. “The majority of our players have been playing together for so long, and there is such great chemistry.”

After solid performances in the State Cup and Premier League, this team has found themselves in the national spotlight, and under the microscope of many college coaches. Boon says he estimates that the team’s nine Division I commitments is the most of any team at this age group.

Annia Mejia and Victoria Bolden have both committed to Cal-Berkeley. Mejia is the midfielder responsible for setting the pace for FRAM Premier, while Bolden is a sparkplug for the offense. Noel Baham and Morgan Brown will attend Santa Clara, and they both play key roles on this team as well. Boon says the college commitments are a testament to how hard these players have worked.

“The team has one focus: they all want to play at a high level,” says Boon. “We have a lot of good competition [at the Region IV Championships], and we’re going to have to come out and compete our best to win this thing.”

Pre-Event Favorites

FRAM Premier (Group C) – Winners of the South California State Cup and the Far West Regional League
Mountain View/Los Altos Lightening (Group A) – Winners of the PDA Showcase, Players Showcase, and most recent Surf Cup have to be on the favorite radar
Sparta Premier (Group D) – They’ve been a finalist or a champion at eight different large events over the past year, including wins at the Disney Showcase and Utah State Cup
Eastside FC (Group C) – Washington State Cup champs also were finalists at Surf Cup and came in third in National League
Beach FC (Group A) – Placed second in the Far West Regional League behind FRAM, has experience against tough competition

Pre-Event Favorites

Annia Mejia, FRAM Premier – National Team Player, Region IV ODP Player
Victoria Bolden, FRAM Premier – Region IV ODP Player
Carissa Christensen, FRAM Premier – Region IV ODP Player
Andrea Mensen, FRAM Premier – Region IV ODP Player
Emilia Bladin, Eastside SC – National Team Player, Region IV ODP Player
Isabelle Butterfield, Eastside SC – Region IV ODP Player
Abigail Morrow, Eastside SC – Region IV ODP Playerheeler, Eastside SC – Region IF ODP Player
Shannon Patterson, Oregon Rush Nike – National Team Player, Region IV ODP
Zoe Higgins, Oregon Rush Nike – National Team Player, Region IV ODP
Grace Hancock, Super Nova – Region IV ODP