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Fall Quarter 2021 Recap

December 7, 2021

Happy Holidays to the Play Higher Family!

Thank you for making it a fun & fruitful fall season. I am blessed to get to coach the Play Higher athletes. I am honored by our players’ commitment to serving those around them. I am overwhelmed with joy for all the players’ successes on the field. And I am so appreciative of the support of our amazing soccer community.

Some highlights from the Fall Quarter to showcase from the past 3 months as we head into 2022:

Player Leaders

Maverick McCaig, Joe Makos, Jonah Levandofsky, and Caleb Chan have been an amazing help at our Free Play Fridays, among many other of our HS players donating their time. The four of these boys have spent over 100 hours in the past 3 months helping guide our Youngers program. They have spent time helping set up the fields, facilitating the Free Play courts, and most importantly being positive role models and mentors that the younger players can look up to, both as quality people and quality players. I pray that God blesses all of our players who choose to give back to the community, and I know that He will… because it is impossible to out-give God. He always wins.


Erik Baker from Chick-fil-A at the Outlets has donated over $4,000 worth of chicken sandwiches to our ministry. Chick-fil-A has never missed a Free Play Friday and they want to make sure that our athletes are having fun and are well-fed. I am so grateful to Jason Lynch, Erik Baker and the whole Chick-fil-A company who continues to pour into Play Higher with their generous hearts and servant leadership. My favorite Chick-fil-A memory from the Fall is watching Luke, Zak & Kian (2013 boys) playing for 2 hours after their session had already ended, sprinting with the ball at their feet and chicken sandwiches in their hands and mouths. More fun things coming in 2022, and we are preparing for a Play Higher Atlanta in 2024!!!

AST Certification

Leading human performance scientist Jim Madrid (sports psychologist for Seattle Seahawks and many other pro athletes) has agreed to a partnership in mentoring our players. We will hold our first sports psychology workshop at Saddleback Church Rancho Capistrano on December 13, at 6pm. You will not want to miss it! In addition to our workshops throughout the year, we will be starting Life Groups to help our athletes develop their mental and spiritual game. I am very passionate about this new initiative. Play Higher is dedicated to developing Happy, Healthy, and High-performing athletes, and their mind is the beginning of achieving all 3 of these objectives. To help our players think correctly and reach their full potential is our top priority!

Plenty of Success on the Field

The fall club season has seen Play Higher athletes succeeding left and right! Hundreds of goals have been scored, hundreds of assists have been recorded, tons of shutouts (shout out to our defenders and goalkeepers whose stats do not always show the success they are having!!!). Some top Fall performances:

  • Liam Duerksen second leading assists in the CCAA conference as a Freshman
  • Meagan Rowlett leading point getter for MIT Women’s Soccer as a Freshman and an appearance in the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament 
  • Tristan Weber completing his first professional season at LV Lights
  • Camila Hernandez, Naomi Hochgesang, Alaina Villa and Natalie Leon getting selected to represent the top 07 girls in Orange County PDP

Please be praying for:

  • Liam Duerksen’s hip flexor
  • Camila Hernandez’s ACL
  • Maddie Finnerty’s ACL
  • Matthew Hoppe’s quadricep
  • Pastor Rick Warren’s replacement pastor
  • The physical, mental & spiritual health of all of our players
  • A street soccer court at Rancho Capistrano
  • A CRM platform for Play Higher
  • Homework Club Tutors
  • College Scholarship opportunities for our senior class
  • Success and safety for our players beginning their HS seasons

Play Higher remains an inclusive community open to EVERYONE no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, and financial situation – we want to help all players who are committed to their craft.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Thank you so much for your time and skills serving at the ministry. Thank you so much for helping us purchase new equipment. Thank you so much for letting this be my job. 

I look forward to 2022 with you all.


Justice Duerksen