Alvarez returns to the pitch

Watauga’s Jair Alvarez (left) returns to the field July 16 for the East-West All-Star Men’s Soccer game in Greensboro.

If the West’s All-Star men’s soccer team — which faces the East’s All-Stars at MacPherson Stadium in the Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Greensboro on July 16 — needs offense, Watauga’s Jair Alvarez is a good place to start.

Alvarez plays his final prep soccer game at the East-West All-Star game before moving on to the college game at Mars Hill this fall. Alvarez will attend a banquet on July 14, get some practice time in for a day before taking on the East at 8 p.m. two days later.

“Being selected has been a boost to my confidence,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been working hard and I feel it’s why I was selected.”

The game used to be played at UNCG Soccer Stadium, but was moved to MacPherson Stadium, which is the home of the Greensboro Dynamo. Alvarez has watched game at the new stadium, but it’s his first time playing on the field.

“It’s a really nice field,” Alvarez said. “They have nice (grand)stands too.”

Alvarez helped lead Watauga to a 21-6 overall record, 12-2 in the Northwestern Conference. The Pioneers, who outscored NWC opponents 65-9 in goals, finished in a tie with Hickory at the top of the NWC standings.

Alvarez, who was named to the All-Northwestern Conference team, scored 26 goals in 25 games. He also handed out 13 assists, which led the Pioneers.

“I’m totally excited,” Alvarez said. “I feel like I’m kind of since (WHS coach) Josh Honeycutt overturned the program and I feel I’m a part of that.”

Alvarez has been following a fitness regiment given to him by Mars Hill coach Greg Minford during the summer. Alvarez feels he is in good enough shape to play in the game.

“He gave us all a program that we follow every day,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been doing that all summer.”

Alvarez feels that his vision of the field can be an asset to the West team. When he’s not looking to make an assist, Alvarez has confidence in his scoring abilities if he can’t get the ball to an open scorer.

“All my life, I’ve been the brain of the team by distributing,” Alvarez said. “That’s one of my attributes. The other is scoring goals. Hopefully I can either get some assists or put one in the game. That would be really exciting.”

The girls’ all-star game begins at 6:30 p.m., also on June 16 at MacPherson Stadium. Watauga’s Jackson Greene will also play in the football all-star game at Jamieson Stadium at Greensboro Grimsley High School at 8 p.m. on July 17. A fireworks display will take place at halftime of the football game.

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