HIBBING — Last year, Alex Chacich had four goals for the Hibbing/Chisholm High School boys soccer team.
What a difference a year makes.
This season, Chacich has a new-found scoring touch.
The Bluejacket senior has put up 28 goals this season, including one seven-goal game.
This didn’t come as a surprise to Hibbing/Chisholm coach Jen Forer.
“I knew that he was ready to be a captain and leader for the team,” Forer said. “He’s progressed through the years. Knowing he was a senior, he was excited to get out there to show what he’s got.”
Chacich’s rise didn’t happen by chance.
“It was the dedication during the summer and coming to the soccer fields with my cousin (Jacob Jensrud) and other teammates and taking shots and practicing,” Chacich said. “We would dribble around, take far shots and practice one-on-one stuff.
“We have fun.”
All of that work showed Forer just how much Chacich has matured over the years.
“When he was young, he would get a lot of shots, but if those shots were wide or over the net, he’d get frustrated. He would sometimes give up on a play. Now that he’s older, he crashes the net.
“His skill level and maturity has progressed through the years.”
Last year, Chacich, who is a forward, was relied on to score goals. This year, he is the main goal scorer.
“With the number of goals we scored last year, that doesn’t compare to the number of goals we’ve scored this year,” Forer said. “He probably scored 90-percent of our goals last year. He was relied on to score goals. This year, he’s our main goal scorer.
“He spent a lot of time during the offseason always practicing. He gets the other guys to go with him. The time he’s put in during the offseason has contributed to the success he’s had this year.”
When he’s practicing, Chacich, who is the fourth-leading scorer in the state behind Chris Frantz (32), Cooper Nowak (31) and Sidike Jabateh (30), isn’t afraid to move the ball around the field to shoot.
Every shot is a good shot.
“I normally shoot from the 18-foot or from the angles on the sides to get used to having those chances in games,” Chacich said. “We goof around a lot and have fun. It’s been crazy after coming back from last year being such a bad year for us.
“This year, we’re doing a lot better.
Chacich’s all-around game is better, too.
“He’s more active in the midfield,” Forer said. “He will come back and help on defense. He has good endurance and conditioning. He can make those long runs, then transition to defense to get that ball back to our side of the field.”
Even though he’s having all of this individual success, there’s only one thing Chacich wants to see — the team win.
“We want to go into the playoffs with our heads held high,” Chacich said.