Persistence, passion, and hard work. These are the things that Michael Hewes says made him the soccer player he is today. An All-American soccer player to be more specific.
On December 4, 2019, the United Soccer Coaches announced the association’s High School Boys and Girls All-America Teams for the 2019 fall season. Hewes is one of only 131 High School All-Americans (72 boys, 59 girls) selected for this honor. News of Hewes’s All-American designation came shortly after the completion of his final season with Unionville - a season in which he broke a 34-year-old school record and led the team to a 6th place finish in district playoffs.
“It means a lot,” said Hewes. “I have been putting in the work my whole life. To be recognized on the national stage has been one of the greatest recognitions I have ever received.”
This is the first time in school history Unionville Boys Soccer has had a player selected to the All-America Team. In order to be a candidate for the All-America Team, student-athletes must be voted in and present significant athletic achievements.
Last year as a junior, Hewes was selected for the All-Regional Team. That same year, Unionville made it to the state semi-finals. Additionally, over the years Hewes has built quite the athletic resume - 2018 and 2019 Pennsylvania All-State Selection, 2018 and 2019 All-Southeastern PA Selection, 1st Team Ches-Mont American All-League, 2nd Team Ches-Mont American All-League in 2017, 2018 Daily Local News 1st Team Selection, 2017 Daily Local News Honorable Mention, 2019 Daily Local News Player of the Year.
Hewes spent his Unionville career under the leadership of Coach Rich Garber, Head Coach for Unionville Boys Soccer. Garber has led the boys soccer program at Unionville for 20 years and has been a coach for the District for 35 years.
“This is a great honor for the program,” said Garber. “Michael is a testament to the program. His hard work is what got him there.”
Hewes also reflected that his hard work on the field and off-season training is what prepared him for a successful season.
“I think just training as much as I can really helped,” he said. “Me and my friends trained all summer, even before pre-season we were at the turf every day and that has contributed to my success as well as the team’s success this year and in past years.”
Hewes ended his high school career with 59 goals and 26 assists. He is #1 in goals scored, tied for #2 in assists and #1 in points scored. His final season also ended up being the season he broke a 34-year-old school record.
“It felt great when it happened,” he said. “It was early on in the season so I knew I still had more work to do, but it was great to be recognized in that aspect.”
He’ll leave behind a team that will certainly remember him for his outstanding athleticism on the field but maybe more importantly for his tremendous leadership.
“Michael is a great leader,” said Garber. “When he talks, people listen. He is always able to step up and lead by example.”
Pat Crater, Supervisor of Athletics for UCFSD, noted, "Michael is not only an excellent soccer player, but he is a great ambassador for our school in the way that he represents our values on and off the field. He has a special blend of intelligence and grit, but also kindness and humility. Michael's character, talent, and team contributions will be remembered at Unionville forever."
And while this past season was the end of Hewes’s high school career and donning the blue and gold uniform, the young All-American’s future looks bright as he will be in blue and red navigating the turf at Rhodes Field for the University of Pennsylvania next fall.
“I’m excited to go to UPenn and play soccer,” he said. “I’ll be getting a good education and hopefully, I will continue to have a good college career in soccer there.”
When asked what advice he would give to the young soccer players in our District, Hewes said, “Persistence is a really important thing. I think a lot of times in soccer and in any sport that you play, there’s going to be adversity that you face at some point throughout your career. If you really have the passion to play the game you just have to keep pushing through it and try your hardest.”
Hewes along with the other players on this year’s United Soccer Coaches High School All-America Teams will be recognized for their accomplishments at the All-America Ceremony & Reception on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It will be a celebration of Hewes’s hard work as well as those who helped him along the way.
“I would like to thank my mom, dad, and sister who supported me, not just through my high school career, but my entire career as a soccer player,” Hewes said. “Also my coaches and teammates, and my friends for sticking with me through everything and training through the offseason with me.”