(Editor’s note: Carroll College athletics release)
HELENA — Carroll College men’s soccer forward Jose (Javi) Porras was 2018 United Soccer Coaches National Scholar Player of the Year in the NAIA.
“I couldn’t believe it for a second,” Porras said. “I was happy with what I had done throughout the years here with my school work and my soccer work as well. Going out with this award means a lot. I’m happy. I just want to thank all of my fialy. They always supported me — my coaches, all the people at Carroll, my roommates, everyone.”
Porras led the Saints on the pitch this past season. The senior from Las Alturas, Guatemala led the Cascade Collegiate Conference in points per game at 1.71. He scored 12 goals in 17 games this season and added five assists. He had three game-winning goals for the Saints, who went 8-8-1 on the season, including a 3-2 upset win over Corban in the CCC Tournament.
In order to be considered for the award, players were required to hold at least a 3.3 GPA throughout their careers and start more than 50 percent of games and “be an elite player as supported by playing honors,” according to the USC.
Porras was named to the USC NAIA All-West Region team as well as earning first team all-conference honors in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
“We’ve had a lot of first-teamers and a lot of great athletes and players throughout my career, but this is national honor that everybody that is associated with soccer and academics would consider top of the line,” said Carroll men’s soccer coach Doug Mello. “We’re ecstatic that Javi’s four years of hard work in the classroom and on the soccer field has been deemed the best in the nation. It couldn’t have gone to more a deserving player.”
Porras did whatever the Saints asked of him. Early in his career, he moved from his natural position at forward to play midfield. His junior and senior seasons when he moved back to forward saw him earn all-conference honors.
In the classroom, Porras double majored in finance and business with a focus in international business, with a minor in marketing. He sported a 3.49 cumulative GPA.
“It’s been hard,” Porras said. “Being far away from home,I’m here to do something so that means I have to be great.”