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Youth shine in inaugural seasons
Two local youth soccer teams recently gave area high school coaches something to get excited about.
The BU-11 Blackouts, coached by Nikki Gamble and Kirk Mathews, and the GU-11 Blizzard coached by Ric Dutton and Jamie Armstrong, just completed their inaugural seasons as champions in the Skagit Valley Youth Soccer Association.
The BU-11 Blackouts were undefeated in league play, finishing the regular season 9-0, racking up an unprecedented 95 goals.
The GU-11 Blizzard finished their regular season in second place with a record of 6-1-1 and proved to be the hardest team to score against in the league, allowing only five goals against.
After strong regular seasons both teams moved on to excel in the SVYSA Top Four Tournament.
The boys won their first game 3-1 and then capped off their undefeated season beating Anacortes 4-2.
The girls also had success in their first match, winning 3-1 and avenged their only loss of the season, beating Burlington 4-2.
Both North Whidbey Soccer Academy teams are now competing to earn spots in the Washington State Youth Soccer Associations Presidents Cup in Bremerton/Silverdale, Dec. 3-4.
Earlier this year the Oak Harbor Youth Soccer Association and Whidbey Island Soccer Club merged to better serve area youth soccer players, becoming the North Whidbey Soccer Club. Under the NWSC a division called the North Whidbey Soccer Academy was formed, dedicated to the oversight of coach, player and team development within the recreational and select levels of competition.
The NWSA director, Mike Thornton, not only created new and improved training for the recreational coach and select player, but formed two youth academy teams, a boys and girls under 11 group for in-depth training, increased levels of competition at the recreational level and to bridge the gap between local recreational play and district/state competitive soccer.
The academy teams were formed in open registration and there is no selection process, taking only the first 18 boys and girls to sign up through the NWSCs online registration process.
For more information on these and other soccer opportunities, please visit the North Whidbey Soccer Club at www.nwhidbeysoccer.org or the North Whidbey Soccer Academy at www.nwsocceracademy.org.