Submitted by Wolverine fans.
Some might have assumed that after graduating thirteen players last year, this season’s Friday Harbor boys’ soccer team would have struggled to match last year’s success, but Head Coach Brett Paul wasn’t worried, “There were some outstanding graduates to be sure, but plenty of very talented players remained and we’ve got a super group of younger players coming up. Most importantly, I knew this team was committed to the hard work of always improving their skills and building chemistry on and off the field.”
Turns out, Coach Paul was right. With a 9-1 record, the Wolverines are ranked the best 1B/2B team in the state and are sitting at the top of their league. What may be the biggest regular season game of the season is coming up on Tuesday October 24th at 4:30 pm at Linde Fields and the Wolverines want to see a huge fan turn-out for the game.
Says senior defender Elian Bayas, “The only team we’ve lost to so far is Mount Vernon Christian (a 1-0 defeat in late September), and Tuesday will be our chance to avenge that loss. It is also senior night, so it’s a chance for the community to celebrate the graduating athletes at their last regular season home game.”
According to Paul, the most difficult part of the season lies ahead, “We’ve had some success this year, but our standards are extremely high and there’s a lot of soccer to come. The players will need to stay humble and focused and take their play to an even higher level if we want to make any noise in the playoffs. The intensity and challenge of the postseason can be a shock, especially for younger players, but I’m really pleased with the way this team is playing right now.”
Bayas agrees with the assessment of his coach, “We take it personally every time we let a goal in, and we want every game to be a shut-out. We’ve scored 33 goals this year, and only allowed 4, but we know the competition is going to get a lot tougher in the weeks ahead. We’re just taking things one game at a time and trying to learn and improve every time we take the field.”
The sidelines have been lined with fans at home games this year, and those who have attended have enjoyed seeing the Wolverines play a fun to watch style of soccer with skilled passing, lots of movement, and a well-organized team approach to the game.
Kick off for the game against Mount Vernon Christian will be at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 24 at Linde Fields in Friday Harbor and will be a great opportunity for San Juan Island residents to watch one of the most successful Friday Harbor High School teams of all time at the top of their game.