9 who shine: Sports star UCLA bound

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scoring two or three goals and walking off the field to a group of cheering fans seems to be a normal night for Oak Mountain High School valedictorian Chandler Hoffman, who will play college soccer at UCLA in the fall.

Hoffman has spent the past four seasons enjoying soccer success, scoring 121 goals and 45 assists.

He’s been called All-American, record holder and two-time state champ, but one new title he enjoys is role model.

For the past year and a half, Hoffman has worked with the Gold Rush ministry at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church, influencing lives and building a fan base of kids.

They wear their hats the same and cling to the gate after a game for a moment to spend time with No. 17.

“It makes you think carefully about everything you say when you’re around these kids who are so influenced by you,” Hoffman said. “It’s a great opportunity to help shape their lives, and one I take seriously.”

In addition to showing the kids some stats to look forward to on the field, Hoffman also sets a high mark in the classroom with a 4.02 GPA and 28 ACT score.

He will move to Panama City, Fla., next week to strengthen his skills in the Premier Development League before going to UCLA.