BERWYN – Soccer is not a sport to get into if you don't like running.
That is unless you want to play goalkeeper. Keepers are only called upon for short bursts of effort, but those efforts can decide matches.
Morton's Ian Chacon played defender for a couple years when he first started playing soccer as a kid, but shifted to keeper and hasn't left since.
"First when I started I played defense, but I never really liked running so my grandfather put me in the back and I liked it," Ian said.
It's a good thing for the Mustangs because he has proven to be one of the best goalkeepers in the state. Chacon's standout play this season earned him the Most Valuable Player of the Suburban Life All-Area Boys Soccer team.
"I really liked it because everybody is looking at me," Chacon said of playing goalkeeper. "If a goal goes in that's on me. Sometimes I got to help out the team."
Chacon helped the defense post 20 shutouts. Chacon earned shutouts in both sectional games and made pressure saves in a pair of 1-0 wins. It's the kind of play that has come to be expected of him since joining the varsity team as a freshman.
In the sectional final against Lyons Township, Chacon stoned LT star Frankie Kocimski alone in front of goal and the Mustangs took the lead less than 10 minutes later. In addition to big saves like that he cuts out crosses and eliminates chances before they even start.
"Once again he was in command of his box," Morton coach Mike Caruso said. "That was a great save and then he got the luck of the bounce on that ball as well and grabbed it."
Chacon currently plays with the Cicero Mayans club with many of his Morton teammates, but got his start in a less formal setting.
"I started in the alleys like everybody else," Chacon said. "Then my grandpa saw we had talent, he took us in and he started coaching us."
The we is also referring to his older brother, Miguel, who also played keeper for Morton. Miguel is three years older than Ian and the brothers shared time on the 2011 state champion team. Miguel started both games at state that year, but Ian did play in the playoffs.
The tutelage the brothers received from their grandfather and both excelled at goalkeeper. Now Ian is hoping to find a college program to play for.
"Me and my dad have been focusing on colleges," he said. "It's early, but we're looking into that to see what we have to do so we can get in.
"I just try my best and hopefully somebody is watching and let's see what they have to offer."