Hollingshead, Gaschen headed south in the fall

By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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The duo that led the Granite Bay High School boys soccer team to a section title in the fall was scheduled to get together one last time today as Chris Gaschen and Ryan Hollingshead were set to join nearly a dozen classmates for national letter-of-intent day. Gaschen, one of the most highly decorated soccer players to ever play in the Sacramento area, will next put his skills to work at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The three-time Sierra Foothill League MVP completed his high school coursework in January and has begun the process of training for his collegiate soccer career. The striker capped off his amazing career with a four-goal, one assist performance in the section title game win over Oakmont, and scored 27 goals his senior season while adding 18 assists in leading the Grizzlies to a 12-0 league record and their second section championship in three years. He ended his career at Granite Bay as the most prolific offensive player in the school’s history, holding school records for goals in a season (35 in his junior campaign), career goals (94) and career assists (51). His 18 assists in the 2008 season tied him with Hollinsghead for the team lead, and that mark is the new single-season school high for assists. “I feel that Chris is the best soccer player in the Sacramento area,” Granite Bay coach Steve Fischer said. “I feel he is one of the top ten players ever to come out of Sacramento.” Faced with a choice between numerous suitors, Gaschen chose Cal Poly for both soccer and educational reasons. His first career goal is to play soccer professionally in Europe, and Cal Poly coach Paul Holocher has been there, giving him contacts that may help Gaschen along the way. Additionally, Gaschen was impressed with the business program at Cal Poly, which was something many of the schools he was considering did not offer. Hollingshead would have been an easy player of the year choice in any league except for the one in which he played, where so much of the spotlight shined on Gaschen. Together, these two gave the Grizzlies a nearly insurmountable advantage. The midfielder will take his game to UCLA in the fall. Hollingshead scored 18 goals and dished out 18 assists his senior year and his presence made Granite Bay’s offense impossible to read. “Hollingshead had the best season at midfield I have ever witnessed since Sasha Victorine about 12 to 15 years ago,” Fischer said. “Ryan is a dominant player and he made everyone, especially Chris, better.”