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
|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|