Chursky earns national honors

Add one more honor to the list of accomplishments of this year’s Decatur soccer team: National Player of the Year.

Decatur senior Alex Chursky has been selected by as the National High School Player of the Year for the spring 2002 soccer season.

“I think it’s very special,” Chursky said. “I’m very flattered to get it. It’s great.”

Chursky scored 25 goals in 16 games for the Gators and helped them to a second consecutive 4A state championship. He missed six games this season because he was playing on the U20 Canadian National Team in Germany.

Chursky was born in Burnaby, British Columbia. He still considers Canada his home country and has Canadian citizenship.

His father, Tony, played for the Canadian national team, for the Seattle Sounders and the Tacoma Stars.

It was in that atmosphere of being surrounded by professional players that Alex developed.

“I’ve learned from all those guys who’ve coached me — Jimmy McAlister, Ralph Black, Gary Heale,” Chursky said. “And playing with a lot of good players has really helped me out the most.”

Chursky scored 29 goals in 21 games last year to set the Decatur school record for most goals in a season. The record was previously held by his brother, Ian.

Alex will attend Seattle University next year. He had received offers from St. Johns, Oregon State and Washington.

“I like everything about (Seattle U.),” Chursky said. “It’s a first-rate program and a first-rate school, plus I’ve got a lot of good friends there.”

Chursky hopes to play with his brother, who is currently not medically cleared to play this season because he has a protein deficiency in his blood and is on blood thinners to prevent clotting.

“It would be great,” Chursky said. “He’s a great player and I can still learn a lot from him.”

This summer Chursky plans to play on the semi-pro team Skagit Rapids of the Pacific Coast Soccer League with fellow Decatur seniors Nick McCluskey, Jason Bressler and Will Craig. McCluskey and Bressler plan to join Chursky at Seattle U., while Craig is heading to Harvard.

Chursky said someday he would like to play professionally.

“I’ve always wanted to do that,” Chursky said. “It’ll be very hard. I’ve got a long way to go and a lot more to learn before I start thinking about that.”

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