Given the current status of amateur athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Marino High School soccer star Kenzie Tokuchi doesn’t know if she will ever play another game for the Titans.
But the senior midfielder has a pretty good backup plan, courtesy of Illinois Tech, which has invited her to join its program in the fall.
“Illinois Tech has everything I ever dreamed of in a school,” said Tokuchi. “The perfect location in Chicago, a competitive soccer team, and a rigorous architecture program.”
Tokuchi first became aware of the school while attending a soccer camp before her junior year. She began communicating with coach Roshane Ellison, and that contact led to her agreement last week to play for the Scarlet Hawks, who are in NCAA Division III and are a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
“We are really going to miss her,” said Jaime Acuna, SMHS’ veteran girls’ soccer coach. “Kenzie has very good technical skills, great vision on the field and incredible passion for the game. We don’t get players like her too often at San Marino High School.”
Tokuchi began playing soccer in AYSO at age 5 before moving on to the club level at 10. She has played for four clubs, including the Los Angeles Soccer Club, for which she currently competes. At SMHS, she was named to the all-Rio Hondo League first
team after her sophomore and junior seasons and to the second team after her freshman campaign. She has also been named to several all-area squads. While enthused about moving on, Tokuchi also said she will miss the camaraderie of the high school brand.
“Being a part of such a tight-knit group of girls has not only allowed me to be a part of a sisterhood but also helped me form many lifelong friendships,” said Tokuchi. “While soccer is a very demanding and serious sport, playing for the high school varsity team reminds me of the joy and love I felt when I first began playing soccer. From all our team dinners to coach Jaime’s countless 100-yard sprints, I would not trade anything for the memories and friendships I have made over the past four years.”
Kenzie is the daughter of Mitsue and Norberto Tokuchi and has a sister, Makayla. She plans to major in architecture at Illinois Tech.