Ridgeview senior Christian Kim took a little bit of ribbing for waiting until May to decide on a college to continue playing soccer, something many players do earlier in the school year.

But Kim said he wanted to make sure he found the right place. He feels confident he did with NCAA Division III Linfield College.

“I just needed to assess all my options,” he said after a May 21 signing ceremony at the school.

Kim was impressed with the soccer program, as well as the beauty of the campus in McMinnville. The Wildcats finished fifth in the eight team Northwest Conference in 2018.

“Coach (Adam) Howard was super-welcoming,” Kim said. “He was a big reason I bought into the soccer program. I just got a good feeling there.”

Kim plans to major in biology, working toward a career in acupuncture or physical therapy.

Kim scored 16 goals last season for the Ravens, helping lead Ridgeview (8-0-2 league, 11-3-2 overall) to an Intermountain Conference championship and the Class 5A quarterfinals. Kim was selected first-team all-IMC.

Kim plans to use his freshman year to adjust to the college game.

“Hopefully, get some good playing time and then, after that, try to make stuff happen,” he said.

Kim helped the Ravens improve from a 2-4-2 record in the IMC his freshman year in 2015, to a playoff spot as a sophomore to undefeated league champions as a senior.

“It was awesome,” he said of watching the program develop. “In the past, it hasn’t really been the best. Just seeing the development, gradually getting better each year, it’s exciting. It’s going to be trending in the right direction.

Several Ridgeview students and staff members stood up to praise Kim during the event.

“Really a quiet leader among your peers,” assistant principal Jensine Peterson said. “I want you to know that we notice — you keeping your head down, focused on your studies, focused on athletics, being a man of character. We’re super proud of you.”

Ravens coach Jimmy Kim, Christian’s father, will have to travel a bit farther to see his son play, but he looks forward to it.

“It feels good, I’m happy for him, it’s a place he feels comfortable at,” Jimmy Kim said. “It just seems like that’s going to be a great place for him to be at for the next four years. As far as soccer goes, I’m happy for him that he loves it and that he has an opportunity to continue playing.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com