Sports

Area soccer squads hoping to score

The Olympic Trojans soccer team got out in the wind Thursday at Gordon Field as they prepare to start the new soccer season.  - Photo by Aaron Managhan
The Olympic Trojans soccer team got out in the wind Thursday at Gordon Field as they prepare to start the new soccer season.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

While many new faces will grace the soccer fields of central Kitsap County this season, the Olympic Trojans remain a pillar of consistency comparatively speaking.

Where Klahowya and Central Kitsap return just a handful of starters, Olympic returns nine.

“We’ve got a good core of nine players and hopefully we’ll develop a few more,” Oly coach Steve Haggerty said. “But they’re playing with enthusiasm. We’ve got good leadership from our seniors.”

With a senior core including Greg Ford, Dan Fry, Paul Newling, Sean Joyner and Justin Turner, Olympic (5-9-2 last season, 4-9-1 in Narrows League Bridge Division play) will be very balanced this season. Combined with the return of a healthy Cody Clark and the Trojans will pack a volatile offense.

Clark, just a freshman last year, scored a team-high 12 goals despite missing a large chunk of the season due to injury.

“Cody is feeling good in terms of getting a better nose for the ball,” Haggerty said. “His touch is better.”

That could be scary when combined with the rest of Oly’s returners, specifically a speed tandem of Clark and Joyner.

“Sean Joyner is looking good,” Haggerty said. “We’ll probably have him and Cody up front.”

Defensively, the Trojans will rely on its defenders more than its goalie, as David Meherg, a returning junior slated between the posts for Oly, will miss the season due to a shoulder injury. That means keepers Sean Carlson and Coby Stoddard will have to develop quickly.

“They need work,” Haggerty said of the duo. “But if they get good confidence going they’ll be OK. They’ll step up to the level of competition I think.”

In order to support Carlson and Stoddard, Haggerty said his will be a team of defenders.

“As far as defense, every man on the field is a defender,” he said. “If we don’t have the ball, everyone is pressuring.”

After experiencing success with Clark last year, Haggerty said two freshmen will earn a chance to get some minutes in with the Trojans, Derek Conway-Newton and Brittin Southard.

“The young kids are going to be factors for us. (Derek)’s pretty versatile,” Haggerty said. “He’s solid in just about everything. And Hopefully we’ll get (Brittin) in the weight room and bulk him up a little bit.”

As for the team’s final season as a member of the Narrows, Haggerty said it won’t be easy. But he also reminded it never is.

“I think it’ll be a battle with Port Angeles, North Kitsap and Shelton for the that fourth spot,” Haggerty said. “On paper, Gig Harbor and South should win but if the game were played on paper, we wouldn’t line up.”

The Trojans opened the season last night against Gig Harbor on the road. Results were unavailable at press time. Olympic plays Bremerton tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Silverdale Stadium.

Central Kitsap

With just seven returning players, Central Kitsap will look to adjust its game before heading into a trying opening stretch.

“It’s going to be a test to see if we’ll be able to play four games in six days,” CK coach Charlie Frohman said.

In a true case of no rest for the weary, Frohman said the games give his players a trial by fire in terms of establishing team chemistry and unity. CK opened Monday against Bethel and played South Kitsap last night. Those scores were unavailable at press time. The Cougs play North Kitsap on the road tomorrow and host Klahowya Saturday at noon.

Gone is Norwegian exchange student Marius Kjellevold, the team’s scoring leader last season. Gone are five-strong from the defense. Gone are team leaders like Kyle Stroh, Keith Bisaillon and Charlie Giles. All those vacancies are leaving Frohman with some questions of his own.

“I’m curious to see how this year’s group of players will do,” Frohman said. “It’s going to be an interesting year.”

But don’t confuse curiosity with complacency, as the Cougars, a team that went 8-6-1 last season to earn a trip to the West Central District playoffs, are hungry to continue last season’s successes.

“It’s a pretty strong talent I think,” Frohman said. “It’s just whether we can play as a team.”

Of his returners, Frohman said Brett Pendt, Tyler Wain and Kody Brynstad will be key to making another playoff run.

“Offensively, Kody Brynstad is going to need to step up,” he said. “Our midfield seniors Brad Pendt and Tyler Wain, we’re going to have to get some scoring out of them.”

During the span of games to start the year, Frohman said everyone will get playing time to maximize rest all around.

“We’ll be playing a lot of players subbing in and out,” he said. “Players will step up to it. We have pretty good attitudes about it.”

Frohman said many of those same players will have to continue to play at a high level to not only keep their jobs this season, but next, when a talented core of freshmen will be ready and available.

“I think we’re going to have a squad that should be hustling this year,” he said. “The players behind them are going to be pushing them. Hopefully, that will lift their games up to the competitive level we need. All of them have to because there’s a super group of ninth-graders on the way. Next year will also be an interesting year.”

And much like his Trojan counterparts, Frohman said the Cougs are simply aiming top four.

“This year’s squad, it all depends,” he said. “There could be many factors. It’s a question mark but every year is kind of a question mark.”

Klahowya

Eagles coach Troy Oelschlager also will have a new group after losing 12 of the 16 players on last season’s roster. But he’s still smiling despite having to replace so many pieces of a Klahowya team that went 8-2-0 for a share of the Nisqually League title (9-6-1 overall) just a season ago.

“The guys are really excited,” Oelschlager said. “We lost tons of guys to graduation. But it’s fun to see a whole new group of faces. You don’t know what to expect.”

The graduating class includes Nisqually MVP Josh Lane, defenders Elias Cook and Jason Hippe and keeper Bryce Wick. But the returners Klahowya does have, all four of them, will be key. Klahowya’s biggest returners will be midfielders Ryan Simsic, a senior, and sophomore Darryn Reinerston. Seniors Corey Holloway and Robbie Cramer also return.

“(Simsic and Reinerston) are both strong players who will be our go-to guys this year,” Oelschlager said. “They have great leadership. The rest of the team really looks up to those guys.”

Now he’s hoping some of their experiences from last season rub off on the newbies.

“They’ve been there,” Oelschlager said. “They’ve played in the big games. They know what it takes to succeed at this level. Hopefully they’ll pass that on to these guys.”

Among newcomers the Eagles will rely

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