King and Hernandez, both of whom have played soccer since they
were youngsters -- King, through local club play and Hernandez, as a
youngster growing up in Veracruz, Mexico -- came into the Laguna
program at the same time.
Now seniors, the two know what it takes to have success at the
high school level which, both will tell you, leaves them wanting more
-- especially since this is their final year in the program.
"Both Taylor and I have been on a few successful teams here at
Laguna and we have been around long enough to know what it takes to
be successful at the varsity level," said Hernandez, an offensive
midfielder and forward, who turns 18 on Tuesday .
"We both like being role models for the younger guys on team and
we hope to set a good example."
Hernandez had one of his biggest games in a Laguna uniform in the
2001 CIF Southern Section Division V championship match.
He scored one goal in a 2-1 victory that gave the school a
Southern Section title.
King also was a member of that squad.
In the current season, King, a sweeper, serves as team captain
with Hernandez being dubbed by Thomas as, the "vice" captain.
"To me, the greatest compliment any player can receive is from the
opposition coach," Thomas said. "After we played Aliso Niguel earlier
in the season, their coach was raving about what a great player our
sweeper was. That sweeper, was Taylor King.
"After we played Orange Lutheran, their coach just talked about
the amazing footwork skills of No. 9, and No. 9 is Pablo."
Both King and Hernandez have reached the scoring column this
season and both, Thomas said, are playing at a level that will,
"without doubt," attract Division 1 schools.
King, for one, has applied to Carnegie Mellon University and may
make a visit to the Pittsburgh campus, he said, after the start of
the new year.
"They are both more than capable of playing at that level," Thomas
said. "They are leaders on and off the field and great students, as
King's position at sweeper seems a natural fit for the role of
"I like playing the position because it allows me to see the whole
field and control the flow of play," said the 17-year-old King. "It's