Sports

Wildcat soccer team strives for winning season in 2009

Players on the Oak Harbor High School soccer team work on a ball-handling and passing drill during a preseason practice session on the turf at Wildcat Memorial Stadium. - Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times
Players on the Oak Harbor High School soccer team work on a ball-handling and passing drill during a preseason practice session on the turf at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times

In his 19th season as Oak Harbor High School head soccer coach, Steve Barker said the team has a lot of players coming back and 2009 could be the year the Wildcats start winning.

Last year Oak Harbor struggled to a 1-14-1 record in WesCo games, but 11 of those losses were by two goals or less.

In 2009, coach Barker has 11 players with varsity experience on the roster so there could be a big turnaround in the Wildcat’s fortunes this year.

Returning seniors on the team include David Moore, Kevin Flavin, Jack O’Neil, John Manni, Sam Muyers, Joel Valles and Justin Van Pelt.

Barker said O’Neil, the number-one goal keeper last year, had surgery on his knee and should be ready to go by the time the season starts.

Returning juniors are Golf Brooks, Gregory Wolfe, Jake Sandefur and Marcos Anjos.

“We’ve got our fullback line taken care of and if our goalkeeper comes around, we should do all right,” Barker said.

New players on the varsity roster are Connar Zimmerman, Chase Zylstra and Michael Shevchuk, who all played on the junior varsity team in 2008.

The Wildcats will be up against the usual strong teams in the WesCo League, including Snohomish, Marysville-Pilchuck and Cascade.

“Nothing ever seems to change with the teams we have to play against in our league,” Barker said with a smile.

Oak Harbor has no preseason games on the schedule and begins the season hosting new WesCo North opponent Arlington at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

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