By Aimee YEGHIAYAN
Falcon Rani Dimashki may not be the star shooter. He may not be the goalkeeper that blocks almost every shot, and he may not be the guy that wins the game. Ask anyone who follows the game though, and they will know who he is.
“For a coach, he is the kind of player that a team needs; he sets the tone at practice, he always gives full effort,” said Coach Grant Clark. “In games, he continues to impress.”
“I can’t count the number of times Coach [Robert] Parada has mumbled, ‘God I love Rani,’ simply because any ball that goes toward the back line we know Rani will get to. He always gives full effort,” said Clark.
The Falcons will count on Dimashki when the team plays at Valencia (Placentia) in the first round of the Division III playoffs on Friday. Dimashki is reliable, always there when he is needed. He knows what needs to happen next for the play to go in the Falcons’ favor, and will do whatever he can to make it happen. With two goals this season, you always know that when he gets the ball, something good will most likely occur afterward. Even though he may not get the recognition many others on this team and other teams have gotten, Dimashki is one of the most valuable players on the team.
“Rani is a great student and a wonderful teammate. He always has a smile on his face until it is time to practice or play a game. Then he changes into another person. He becomes very focused and intent on winning and giving his best,” said Clark.
“I first started playing soccer when I was 10 years old and I had just moved to the United States from Lebanon,” said Dimashki. “I decided to start playing because I had grown up with soccer all around me and I was really influenced by many family members.”
In 2009, Dimashki’s AYSO U-14 boy’s soccer team claimed an AYSO State Championship at UC Davis. That team was a foreshadow of years to come, with many on this team, including Pablo Hernandez, Pablo Sotillo, and Matt Ryan, following with Dimashki up the soccer ranks.
Just a few years after beginning to play, he joined the Falcons, and the rest is history.
Actually, it is the present. But they definitely are making history.
The 2011-2012 team managed to go 23-1-6 overall, 12-0-2 in league. They won the Pacific League championship, the CIF Southern Section Division IV Championship for the first time in program history, and competed in the CIF Southern California Division I Regional Championship. The Falcons finished No. 2 in the state and No. 4 in the nation, definitely something to brag about.
“It was just such a great accomplishment and it took so much hard work and dedication to get to where we got.” said Dimashki.
But 11 key seniors graduated last year. Fortunately for Dimashki, that gave him and his teammates a chance to really shine. Through the season he has stepped up more and more, giving his team his all.
“This year’s team differs from others I have been on because we are a very well rounded and extremely skilled team,” he said. “I feel like we are capable of doing anything we put our minds both physically and mentally.”
The Falcons this year were 18-3-7 overall, 8-2-4 in league and were officially No. 2 in the Pacific League.
“My favorite part of playing was the whole experience of going out to schools and competing and just making memories along the way,” Dimashki said.