Sports

Jefferson wins SPSL South soccer crown

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

The two-time defending Class 4A state champion Decatur Gators did their cross-town rival, Thomas Jefferson, a huge favor when they played the Curtis Vikings to a scoreless tie Tuesday night.

The 0-0 stalemate gave Jefferson the South Puget Sound League South Division championship even before the Raiders and second-place Curtis played last night (after press time). The Raiders (14-0-1) had 43 points, compared to 39 by Curtis (12-0-3). A win gives a team three points.

But that still didn’t satisfy second-year coach Darren Sawatzky.

“If our boys can’t beat Curtis then we don’t deserve to be the league champions,” he said before last night’s game.

Jefferson will take on undefeated Kentridge, the champs of the SPSL North Division on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Sumner High School at the SPSL Tournament. The winner will get the league’s No. 1 seed to West Central Districts and the loser will be second.

“We are really looking forward to the postseason,” Sawatzky said. “It is going to be fun.”

This postseason will be a little different. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) mandated that all soccer games will be played on FieldTurf, instead of AstroTurf – like in year’s past.

“It’s kind of bad for guys like us,” Sawatzky said. “Because we have played on AstroTurf all year. But everybody has to do it.”

The Raiders seem to be on a roll entering the playoffs. Jefferson punched in a pair of touchdowns, including the extra points, Tuesday during a 14-0 rout of the Rogers Rams.

The Raiders got three hat tricks during the blowout. Seniors Chris Sanders tallied three goals, as did senior Steve Mohn and Ricky Getchell.

Rafael Velazquez had a pair of goals for the Raiders. Other scorers were Lamar Neagle, Chris Henry and Calvin Walsh. Taylor Landrud and Tyler Jeffcoat shared the shutout in the net.

Decatur, who finished in third place in the South behind Jefferson and Curtis, also played their final league game last night against Puyallup. The Gators will take on Tahoma, the second-place team from the SPSL North on Wednesday at Curtis High School at 8 p.m. The winner of the game will receive the league’s No. 5 or 6 bid to the West Central District Tournament and the loser will be eliminated.

Decatur (10-2-3) got some solid goalkeeping play on Tuesday night against Curtis. Kyle Bressler stopped all four of the Vikings’ shots during the tie. It is the second time this year Decatur and Curtis have played to a tie. The Gators’ only two losses came to Jefferson and their third tie was to Emerald Ridge in the first league game of the season.

The upstart Federal Way Eagles played a huge game last night. The Eagles took on the Bethel Braves last night. If the Eagles beat the Braves they would earn the South’s fourth seed into Wednesday’s SPSL Tournament. A loss dropped Federal Way (7-7-1) out of the playoff mix and an Eagle tie would require a tie or loss from Emerald Ridge (6-6-3), who played last-place Rogers.

The fourth-place team from the South will play Auburn Riverside, the third-place team from the North, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Sumner High School. The winner of that game advances to districts and the loser goes home.

Federal Way improved to 7-7-1 with a 4-0 win over Spanaway Lake on Tuesday night. The Eagles got goals from Devin Loughlin, Matt Young and a pair from Brian Koo. Seth Grisham and Joe Woo shared the shutout in the net for Federal Way.

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