Sota Ippongi continues soccer career at Centre


by Chuck Logsdon

HC soccer star Sota Ippongi has had a renowned soccer career in his past four years. Ippongi played  midfield and winger for HC. He played in his first varsity game when he was just a freshman and has accomplished great things for the team since. Last year, Ippongi led the HC soccer team to a state championship. Ippongi was named the 2019 Lexington player of the year for boy’s soccer and has garnered attention from players, coaches, and fans alike.

A positive player-coach relationship is important for any sport. Ippongi has had a great relationship with HC soccer coach Jason Behler and other members of the coaching staff. He accredits them to part of his success in developing as a player.

“They made me a better player,” Ippongi said, “[HC soccer coaches] are what made us really good.”

Technical skills aren’t the only thing that the coaches helped Ippongi develop over his time playing soccer at HC.

“My leadership improved the most,” Ippongi said, “because Coach Behler has allowed me to be the team captain since Junior year.”

HC soccer had a net positive impact on Ippongi’s high school experience, allowing him to succeed on and off the field.

“Overall [soccer] made everything better,” Ippongi said. “I was able to focus in school too, because if you don’t get a good grade you can’t play soccer.”

Ippongi touts a resume full of soccer accomplishments and accolades, but he has a few that he holds above the rest.

“Winning state has been my biggest accomplishment,” Ippongi said, “ and getting All-American was also amazing.”

The All-American team is a team decided by coaches from around the country that is comprised of the best high school soccer players in the nation. For a player to be  selected as an All-American is one of the top honors you can receive for your sport.

Unfortunately, since Ippongi is a senior, this will be his last year playing soccer for HC, but he will be continuing to showcase his skills at Centre college next fall.

“Good education, facilities, and coaches,” Ippongi said when asked why Centre college was ideal for him to continue his soccer career.

The staff and students at HC will certainly miss watching Ippongi play but they look forward to seeing him shine at Centre.