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YSC Academy graduates its largest class yet

19 young men marked the end of their high school journey on Friday

Ted Brooks / Philadelphia Union

YSC Academy held its third graduation ceremony on Friday, celebrating its largest graduating class since opening in 2013.

"When I hear about their experiences, what resonates to me is the most important thing are the coaches, the teachers, or the other students," Head of Students Nooah Ahmed-Lee was quoted saying in a news release. "The relationships are the cornerstones and they are central and meaningful."

In addition to being the school’s largest graduating class, the 19 graduates were also the first to go through all four years of high school.

First-team players and technical staff from the Philadelphia Union were in attendance at the ceremony.

“It's a special day. Congratulations to all the graduates," head coach Jim Curtin was quoted saying in a news release. "This is a unique place. You can feel the sense of community all of the players have. Hearing all the students talk was truly special."

Of the 19 graduates, all but one - Matthew Real - have committed to play college soccer in the fall. Four of the graduates played their club soccer for Continental FC in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Real and Mark McKenzie had their own special graduation ceremony prior to leaving for international duty with the United States U18 team in Portugal.

Four other seniors on the Philadelphia Union U18 team - Andrew Aprahamian (Malvern Prep / Stanford), Matthew Freese (Episcopal Academy / Harvard), Patrick Murphy (North Penn / Drexel) and Isaiah Holquist (Lower Merion / University of Chicago) - attended other area high schools.

2017 YSC Academy Graduates

Player Pos. Hometown Club College
Player Pos. Hometown Club College
Omar Ayala MF Norristown, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy Duquesne
Freeman Dwamena D Philadelphia, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy Cal Poly
Kalil ElMedkhar F Middletown, Del. Philadelphia Union Academy Kentucky
Freddy Gil MF/D Atlantis, Fla. Philadelphia Union Academy South Florida
Evan Godfrey D Millville, N.J. Philadelphia Union Academy Liberty
Brandon Golden D Morganville, N.J. Philadelphia Union Academy Colgate
Alex Hajj MF Douglassville, Pa. Continental FC Monmouth
Juan Infante F Willow Grove, Pa. Continental FC Gettysburg
Michael Kalpokas GK West Chester, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy Immaculata
Dawson McCartney MF Voorhees, N.J. Philadelphia Union Academy Dartmouth
Mark McKenzie D Bear, Del. Philadelphia Union Academy Wake Forest
Justin McMaster F Jamaica Philadelphia Union Academy Wake Forest
Josue Monge MF Philadelphia, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy South Florida
Emmanuel Perez MF Boynton Beach, Fla. Philadelphia Union Academy Cal Poly
Matt Real D Drexel Hill, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy Signed to Bethlehem Steel
Max Sakiewicz MF Glen Mills, Pa. Philadelphia Union Academy Delaware
Aaron Schwartz GK Berwyn, Pa. Continental FC Dartmouth
Jahmali Waite GK Jamaica Philadelphia Union Academy Fairleigh Dickinson
RC Williams D Philadelphia, Pa. Continental FC Penn