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Boys' Soccer Dream Team: Tars' Tamplin leads area

Senior forward stood out for Sailors and is the Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year in boys' soccer.

April 19, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(SCOTT SMELTZER…)

In Italy, of all places, True Tamplin thought about the Newport Harbor High boys' soccer team in late August. He hadn't played for the team the past two seasons.

Maybe the program was on his mind because he was coming home soon. Maybe it was because he missed playing high school soccer.

"I struggled with it and it was eating away at my brain," said Tamplin, who decided not to eat at all one day while in Florence with his family. "I fasted. I asked God, 'Do your plan.' The next day, I got an email from Coach Juan Mares. He asked me if I was going to come out for the tryouts. That was the sign I needed. The first tryout was on Aug. 27. I was coming back home on Aug. 25. The timing of it all worked out perfectly."

Well, not so seamlessly. Tamplin was jet lagged. Nevertheless, he showed up to Harper Elementary and tried out as a senior.

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He said he's glad he did. It turned out to be a memorable season for Tamplin, the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year in boys' soccer.

When he came out to try out, he recognized some of the 100 faces. The rest of them, he didn't know. They also didn't care who Tamplin was, or what he had been up to the previous two seasons in which he trained with clubs in Argentina and Brazil, and played with a U.S. Soccer Development Academy team.

Tamplin made the cut and his mark on the Sailors. Mares always figured Tamplin would. He just needed him to come back to the program.

And, what a return Tamplin made. He went on to produce an area-best 15 goals, four game-winning goals, to go with four assists.

Tamplin led the Sailors to their first CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff appearance in Mares' three seasons in charge. And the Sailors weren't happy just making it after they shared third place in the Sunset League.

Tamplin lifted the Sailors to a 1-0 wild-card win at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, their first postseason victory since the 2008-09 season.

They almost weren't done in the playoffs. Tamplin scored and gave Newport Harbor a 1-0 lead at third-seeded El Toro. The Sailors had chances to jump on a team that had only lost once all season, but Tamplin said he missed an open goal and another shot clanked off the post.

The Sailors (13-9-4, 4-4-2 in league) were that close to pulling off an upset and continuing their season. They went on to lose, 2-1, but what wasn't lost was Tamplin's impact on the team.

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