Turlock has a new soccer prodigy and his name is Hayden Sargis.
The 13-year-old eighth grade ball player from Turlock Junior High has made major waves since picking up a soccer ball nine years ago.
He has steadily progressed overall in his soccer skills and it looks like he is just getting started.
“This year was the year of change,” said Sargis. “I feel I went as far as I could, being where I was. I have been very lucky.”
Sargis has participated in the Olympic Development Program)part of the Cal North Player Development Program, the International Development Program, and State program as well, all part of Norcal Premier Soccer.
Sargis has also made his round with the National Identification and Development Program, part of U.S. Club Soccer.
After playing for the EVFC Earthquakes for several years, Sargis was given an opportunity to try out for the youth program with the Sacramento Republic FC Academy.
It took a lot of hard work and determination but Sargis was able to impress the coaches and earn a spot on the roster.
“Sacramento Republic is the fastest growing Academy soon to have their own MLS team,” said Hayden’s father Antonio Sargis. “The Academy has top coaches and staff and are very welcoming to everyone. This has been a great change.”
A total of 400 kids tried out for the team.
Only 20 were selected to join the squad and 18 get to dress on game day.
The commitment from Hayden’s parents and family has also been a sacrifice.
Since finding out about the opportunity back on Jan. 4, Sargis was required to attend practice in Sacramento four times a week.
For some people soccer is just a sport or perhaps 'the world sport' as many consider it to be but for the Sargis family it is more like a religion.
The midfielder who will be attending Pitman High upon graduation at TJH, should see major upside and is looking to continue his progression and maybe reach a feat that no local soccer talent has so far.
“My experience has been great, my coaches and the team have been very supportive. They have been very welcoming,” said Hayden. “I want to be able to master the game and play at the highest level. My goal is to be a professional player and also play for the U.S. national team."