B y Dan King

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Jake Morales plays center mid.

Whitehall High School has never had a boys’ soccer team, but that hasn’t stopped Jake Morales from chasing his dreams.
The 15-year-old student is spending his summer playing soccer for an affiliate of one of the world’s best teams – FC Bayern Munich. Morales plays for the 16-U affiliate of the German powerhouse in a program known as Global Premier Soccer.
Global Premier Soccer, according to its website, “comprises the top players from throughout the GPS franchises and affiliates.” This is an attempt by Bayern Munich to broaden its horizons for recruiting players within the United States.
Morales was invited to play for the team after he was recommended by his coach from Synergy soccer team in Burlington, Vermont.
Just last Thursday, Morales played in Bayern Munich’s Talent ID Camp at Golden Goal Sports Park in Fort Ann. Coaches from Bayern Munich were in attendance, and Morales’ team won its contest 3-1 in the invitation-only camp.
“It was kind of even but we ended up beating them 3-1,” Morales said. “The coaches that came were actually from Germany – it was pretty cool.”
Thus far, Morales has traveled to New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire with the Bayern Munich program. Next up is a trip to San Diego July 30 through Aug. 1 for the San Diego Surf Cup. The San Diego Surf Cup gives the soccer players a chance to show their talents in front of the director of the Global Premier Soccer Bayern Munich program.
Playing with the Bayern Munich affiliate will also include trips to, “Mexico, Hawaii, all over the continent.”
Morales, who plays center midfield for his team, has been playing since he was 3 years old.
“My oldest son played and Jake kind of followed his team,” said his mother, Sherry Vadnais. “He is four years older than Jake.”
That sparked Morales’ passion for soccer. When he was in middle school at Whitehall, he ended up playing for about a year on the girls’ varsity team, because Whitehall doesn’t have a boys’ program. After that, he transferred to Fort Ann for about a year and a half, but decided to come back to Whitehall.
While he can’t currently play for an interscholastic team, he still gets plenty of opportunities to play, between Synergy and the Bayern Munich program.
Morales’ father, Jamie Huntington, grew up in Whitehall and was never around soccer for the most part.
“I never thought I’d be interested in it,” Huntington said. “But I’m really starting to enjoy it and follow it.”
Morales said he tries to model his game after Lionel Messi, the Argentine national who plays for FC Barcelona and is oft-considered the best player in the world.
“I watched a lot of documentaries on him,” Morales said. “He’s so calm with the ball and he knows what he’s going to do every time he gets it.”
Morales will be a sophomore at Whitehall High School in the fall.

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