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Area soccer squads hoping to score
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.
Weve got a good core of nine players and hopefully well develop a few more, Oly coach Steve Haggerty said. But theyre playing with enthusiasm. Weve 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 Olys returners, specifically a speed tandem of Clark and Joyner.
Sean Joyner is looking good, Haggerty said. Well 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 theyll be OK. Theyll 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 dont 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. Hes solid in just about everything. And Hopefully well get (Brittin) in the weight room and bulk him up a little bit.
As for the teams final season as a member of the Narrows, Haggerty said it wont be easy. But he also reminded it never is.
I think itll 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 wouldnt 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.
With just seven returning players, Central Kitsap will look to adjust its game before heading into a trying opening stretch.
Its going to be a test to see if well 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 teams 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.
Im curious to see how this years group of players will do, Frohman said. Its going to be an interesting year.
But dont 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 seasons successes.
Its a pretty strong talent I think, Frohman said. Its 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, were 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.
Well 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 were 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 theres 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 years squad, it all depends, he said. There could be many factors. Its a question mark but every year is kind of a question mark.
Eagles coach Troy Oelschlager also will have a new group after losing 12 of the 16 players on last seasons roster. But hes 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 its fun to see a whole new group of faces. You dont 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. Klahowyas 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 hes hoping some of their experiences from last season rub off on the newbies.
Theyve been there, Oelschlager said. Theyve played in the big games. They know what it takes to succeed at this level. Hopefully theyll pass that on to these guys.
Among newcomers the Eagles will rely