Jefferson looks for return to playoffs

The Jefferson soccer team is in third place in the South Puget Sound League, South Division and is looking to return to the playoffs after a two-year drought.

“We added a level of discipline that was lacking last year,” said first-year Jefferson coach Darren Sawatzky, a Jefferson graduate who plays professionally for the Seattle Sounders. “I run a professional program where the guys learn how to be good soccer players and good young men. That comes out on the field. Jefferson is a perennial playoff team and for us not to make the playoffs is an anomaly.”

The Raiders didn’t waste any time in defeating last-place Spanaway Lake 8-1 on Tuesday. Sophomore forward Ricky Getchell scored in the first minute of the game off a pass from Chris Sanders.

“We scored in the first minute and from then on they chased us around,” Sawatzky said.

Seven different players scored for the Raiders as they improved their record to 8-2-2. Jefferson is in third place in the SPSL South behind No. 1 Decatur and No. 2 Curtis.

Getchell finished with a goal and two assists, Sanders had a goal and an assist, Steve Snyder scored a goal, Casey Schuetz had a goal and an assist, Rafael Velazquez scored two goals, Steve Mohn had a goal and an assist and Sulaiman Sulaiman a goal and an two assists.

A number of players have stepped up this year for the Raiders, which are still a fairly young team.

Providing scoring power up front all season are junior Chris Sanders and sophomore Ricky Getchell.

“They’re my strike force,” Sawatzky said. “They’ve been scoring a lot of goals for us.”

Sanders has 11 goals and eight assists this season. Getchell has seven goals and nine assists.

Two other key players are Travis Morrow and Jose Menjivar.

“Maturity-wise, Morrow is leaps and bounds above the others,” Sawatzky said. “I can always count on him. Menjivar has been the work horse in the midfield — you need that. I’d been told those two were good role players, but they really stepped it up.”

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