The Friday Harbor High School boys soccer team earned fourth in state and ended a successful season on Nov. 20 with a 2-0 loss against Crosspoint Academy.
“It was an incredible team effort this past weekend in Sumner and the boys should be very proud of earning fourth in state,” said Coach Brett Paul.
The Wolverines kicked off state strong with tight wins including 1-0 against Grace Academy High School, 4-5 against Auburn Adventist Academy and 3-2 against Prescott High School.
Before playing Crosspoint Academy the team also went against Orcas Island High School — a rare occurrence — on Nov. 19. Friday Harbor lost 2-0 against Orcas.
Paul said that while they played excellent defense against two talented teams, they had a hard time finding the back of the net in the final third.
Paul made sure to give special recognition to the only senior on the team, Levi Buchanan.
“He is a great team player with excellent skill. He added a lot to our program this year and we will certainly miss him next year but I’m hopeful he will find ways to stay involved with soccer after high school!” Paul said.
While the team was competing in state they saw tremendous support from the community even at the away games, which Paul said he and the players were thankful for.
“I really want to thank all who supported us this past season,” he said. “To my wife for putting up with the time-demanding nature of coaching, to my coaches and their families, to our Athletic Director Brock Hauck and his coordination, parents coordinating team meals and dinners, folks helping with soccer and team strategy, teachers’ flexibility with the sports schedule and providing extra support to players who needed it, those who cheered us on at games, and the list goes on.”
He described this season as a collective effort that resulted in collective success. The team excelled in not just soccer this year, but also volunteered for an island marathon, raised money for the food bank, and coached under eight soccer on their Saturdays.
“We have an extraordinary group of players who have accomplished a lot both on and off the field this year,” Paul said. “I know that making it to the final weekend and getting so close to the championship has fueled the players’ fire to keep working hard in the off-season and they certainly have a winning state in their sights for next year.”