When the dust cleared last spring, Overlake’s boys soccer team had the 1A state championship in its grasp.
With a 1-0 victory over Wahluke to bring its record to 15-1-4 overall, the Owls sent coach Bob Bristol off into retirement after 22 seasons with a smile and with style.
New coach Scott Lane has got his squad off to a stellar start with a 3-0-0 Emerald City League record and 3-1-1 overall mark at press time.
In outscoring its opponents 22-1 in those first five matches, Overlake juniors Esteban Sanchez and Evan Williams tallied four goals each, sophomore Alex Martin had three goals and freshman Roman Peterson added three as well.
“Things are going well so far, the team is competing everyday to be better. We are starting to click as a team and everybody is figuring out how to play with each other on the field. Our keys to success will be playing with passion and enthusiasm,” Lane said.
Top returners are Sanchez (midfielder) and senior tri-captains Luke Brezak (goalkeeper), Nate Skochdopole (midfielder) and Kirby Wetherbee (defender). Top newcomers are freshmen midfielders Blake Porter and Max Zao.
Lane’s philosophy is to display maximum effort and have fun along the way, play for each other and use their skills to push the team to the next level.
“I want to teach the players to work hard even when nothing is on the line (such as in training),” said Lane, adding that another goal of the coaching staff is “to create an environment where players are not afraid of failure because we can learn from it.”
Lane is excited to be around the players, who he said possess character that “is years ahead of where they are in their young lives.”
It’s still early in the season and Redmond coach Lacy Wilkinson said he’s working on getting his team firing on all cylinders.
The Mustangs certainly cranked their game into overdrive last Friday with a 5-0 victory over Sammamish with two goals each from junior Jacen Stein and sophomore Martin “Kojo” Dadzie and one from senior Michael Snook. Junior goalkeepers Sean Rash and Ricardo Escalante combined for the shutout.
At press time, Redmond shared the 3A KingCo lead with Lake Washington with 3-1-0 records; Redmond was 4-2-0 overall. The Mustangs added a 3-2 win over Interlake on Tuesday.
Wilkinson said Redmond got off to a slow start after missing some players during the preseason, but things are starting to take shape.
Leading the way are top returners Stein (forward), senior Victor Araujo (midfielder) and junior Reece Wiyrick (defender).
Araujo is a consistent player, “he’s the glue for the team,” said Wilkinson, adding that Stein has moved from midfield to forward, possesses great skills and “causes a lot of problems for the defense.” On Redmond’s defensive end, Wiyrick returns to the center spot after starting there as a sophomore. Wilkinson said Wiyrick is experienced, steady, composed, tough and will challenge the opposition to get around him.
“We try to play a possession game, so the emphasis is on players making their teammates better. With our returners, I’m hoping they step up and pull them through,” said Wilkinson, adding that players come from different clubs with different philosophies, so they’ll meld everything together to get a cohesive flow.
Team trust will be a must and Wilkinson said the Mustangs have plenty of determination to succeed.
Bear Creek sports a young team this season and the boys are working hard to improve each day.
There are no seniors on board and the Grizzlies’ top returners for coach Chad Pohlman are
juniors Cody Clayhold (defender), Brandon Tzou (forward) and Oliver Nordberg (defender).
At press time, Bear Creek was 0-6 overall and received goals from Nordberg and Price Ludwig in two of those matches.
“Our goal this year is to work hard and have fun,” said Pohlman, who’s missing some players due to injuries. “Our team has a great attitude and willingness to get better. Even with a slow start, we are working hard and challenging each other to be the best we can be.”