Toyota Team Player: Jacob Labovitz
For the second time in three years, the Langley Saxons boys soccer team captured the Virginia state championship.
"This year everyone knew us and there was always so much pressure and then when we finally won we were relieved and very happy," said forward Jacob Labovitz.
This year in Langley's one-loss season, Labovitz led the state with 42 goals and passed for 12 assists through 20 games. He scored more than two goals in 15 games and tallied seven goals and three assists in Langley’s four-game run to the Group 6A North Region title.
Labovitz was a huge part of the team’s success -- the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year, Washington Post Player of the Year and USA Today All-American began capitalizing on his strength his sophomore year when Langley captured its first soccer state championship in program history two years ago.
"It's something you'll never forget," Labovitz said. "The coaches always like to come back in 10, 15 years and you'll be able to look back and the memories never leave so all in all, I think it's really rewarding."
But after his sophomore season, Jacob wanted to elevate his game -- he took a risk his junior season and played for Marbella United FC in Spain.
"It was great, every aspect of my game improved," Labovitz said. "From my shooting to my technique with the ball, to my decision making, it's so much faster so everything iI do has to be a step ahead which I definitely think translates back this year when I was playing here. I think all in all it just really helped me out."
But moving to Europe alone as a 16-year-old wasn’t easy.
"The transition for me junior year going from knowing everyone around and family just to being on your own every minute of the day is definitely challenging," Jacob said. "Overcoming that definitely made me a better overall person."
Jacob just finished his senior season at Langley and will play for Fairleigh Dickinson next year.
"They've had a lot of players on the U.S. national team now who have gone there and sorta used it as a starter," he said. "They used it for college and then they'd go pro and the coach, Seth Roland, really believed in me both on and off the field so I felt a really good vibe about that."
Congratulations Jacob Labovitz, you are this week's Toyota Team Player.