Yosemite High School 2010 graduate Justin Webb recently ended his successful collegiate soccer career at Simpson University in Redding. In addition to being named the Redhawk's MVP in his junior and senior year, he earned national rankings in a couple categories.
Although the team team had a 2-10-1 season, Webb had a good year finishing first in the Cal Pac Conference with 139 saves from his goalie position ranking him No. 3 in the nation for all National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
He was also No. 1 in the Cal Pac in saves per game with 8.18. That put him fifth in the nation for all NAIA teams. He was also an NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
The Cal Pac Conference is made up of Simpson, Menlo, Marymount, Cal State University -Maritime, La Sierra, William Jessup, U.C. Merced, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Soka University.
At Yosemite High (2010 graduate), Webb was a two-time team MVP and two time North Sequoia League MVP while playing for the Badgers.
The Redhawks had finished in last place the season before Webb arrived on campus. He didn't expect to get much playing time his first year as Simpson had a senior goal keeper on the team. However, Webb ended up taking over the starting position halfway through the year. The team ended up finishing in the middle of the pack that season.
In his sophomore year, The Redhawks improved and finished in third place in the conference. In his junior year, the Redhawks finished in second place in the conference and made the playoffs.
Webb's senior year was a tough one for the team. The Redhawks lost a lot of seniors from the previous year and had a very young team, compounded with several injuries to key players.
Webb went through several coaching changes in his four years at Simpson. He was recruited by Coach Haynes. Played freshman and sophomore years for Coach Nate Huntsinger and his junior and senior years for Coach Luke Manwaring.
Webb, majoring in accounting with a minor in business and Bible, will graduate in January 2015. He was named to the Dean's List each year at Simpson.
In addition to being a student athlete, Webb has served as a resident hall leader and prayer leader. He went on a Mission trip to Melilla Spain his sophomore year and has just been named the Becker Ambassador for Simpson.
"There was nothing like playing soccer at the college level ... the atmosphere was completely different from high school," Webb said. "I loved the competition, practicing and hanging out with my teammates and representing my school."
Webb said every victory brought pride to the school and every loss was suffered by the whole student body.
"Our team brought spirit and unity to the campus and it was nice to be recognized for what you did on the soccer field," Webb said. "College was a fantastic experience and I love Simpson because of its close knit community ... it was small and personable. I have made relationships I will never forget."
Webb has more than an education and athletic experience to thank Simpson University for he met Natasha Kamps of Freeland, Wash., who was the goalie for the Simpson women's soccer team. The couple married last summer.
Even with his graduation, Simpson will not be "Webbless" next season, as Justin's brother Tristan, and all-league goalie at Yosemite this year, will be joining the Redhawks soccer team next year.
"Justin and Tristan are two remarkable gifted goalkeepers," Yosemite soccer Coach Rick Lemberg said. "I had the privilege of coaching Tristan and watching Justin. They are both quick, smart, fearless and very capable. I saw both of them get balls that I was certain were goals. It seems that they can change direction in the air in order to catch a ball. I am sure that Ron Cox (Justin's high school coach) felt about Justin the same was as I did with Tristan. If he was in the goal, I never thought the other team would score. He saved us so many times. These two young men are very hard to replace."