Kirtland senior Jared Ianiro closed out his high school career as one of the best to ever represent the Hornets on the soccer field.
In four years, Ianiro scored 159 points on 64 goals and 32 assists and helped to lead the Hornets to a 56-17-5 record. As a senior captain, Ianiro scored a team best 55 points on 22 goals and 11 assists in leading the Hornets to the first district championship in school history and an appearance in the Division III Elite Eight.
On Monday, the first team All-Ohioan was named News Herald Player of the Year.
“I really appreciate this award,” Ianiro said. “It means a lot to me, but I could not have done it without my amazing team and coach.”
Kirtland head coach John Valentic, who won the News Herald Coach of the Year Award, knows just how difficult it is going to be to replace Ianiro’s production and leadership.
“Jared's skill, soccer IQ, and presence cannot be replaced,” Valentic said. “He has to be in the top one or two players I've had in my 19 years at Kirtland. A starter from day one as a freshman, he only got better and more important to the soccer program each year. I don't have the words to properly put into perspective how much he meant to our success the past four years.”
For Ianiro, the run to the Elite Eight isn’t something he’ll soon forget.
“My teammates were fantastic and improved so much throughout the year,” he said. “It was a fantastic team effort to make it that far in the playoffs to the Elite Eight and that was the biggest accomplishment we've all had. Coach Valentic has been an amazing coach who was flawless. I've never had a coach care about his players more than he did. This is why I think we made it so far.”
Ianiro’s older brother Jordan, a 2014 graduate, earned All-American honors as a senior. The two leave behind quite a legacy.
“Me and Jordan loved playing for Kirtland, especially for (Coach Valentic),” Jared Ianiro said. “To leave history behind means the world to us, especially since we got to do a lot of it together made it so much better.”
Ianiro hopes to continue his soccer career in college.
Junior Stjepan Mijic-Barisic was named to the News Herald’s First Team and Kyle Work earned Honor Roll mention.