Sports

Hard work paying off for Getchell

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

“Unorthodox, hardworking and intense.”

That’s how Jefferson senior forward RIcky Getchell describes how he plays soccer.

“I don’t do things the prettiest way,” Getchell said. “Basically, I just get the job done.”

Getchell’s work this season has been to score goals for the two-time defending South Puget Sound League South Division champion Raiders.

The fleet-footed Getchell is leading TJ with 15 goals and also has a team-high seven assists.

“He is a scrappy player,” Jefferson coach Darren Sawatzky said. “He is the epitome of a team player. He’s been a God-send for this team.”

Getchell and the Raiders (12-2-2) continue their postseason run today when they take on Wilson, the No. 5 seed from the Narrows League, at 4 p.m. at Sumner Stadium in a loser-out West Central/Southwest District match. The winner advances into the state playoffs as the district’s No. 5 seed.

Getchell’s style of play has earned him a scholarship to play soccer next season at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. He will join last year’s TJ teammate Kyle Murray on the Cal Lutheran roster.

“(Murray) loves it there,” Getchell said. “I went down there and visited and he said he made the best choice of his life.”

But before heading to California, the Raiders have a little bit of unfinished business to take care of in the state playoffs.

Jefferson lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals last year to Snohomish on penalty kicks.

“Every year you want to win it all,” Getchell said. “And we knew that we could win if we played as a team. It was just a matter of how fast we could gel.”

Sawatzky and the Raiders lost eight starters from last year’s SPSL championship team, including five who now play college soccer.

“I think that we are just now peaking with all our new players,” Getchell said.

Jefferson hasn’t lost a game since a 1-0 win by Decatur April 7. Since then, the Raiders won seven straight games before tying Curtis, 2-2, in their regular season finale.

A big part of the success can be attributed to Getchell’s hard work and leadership. During the offseason, he started a super intense running program that features approximately three miles of sprints a day.

“It’s a lot of running,” Getchell said. “But I am in so much better shape this year and when you are in good shape, you are just a lot more confident.”

“No one has worked harder,” Sawatzky said. “He’s one of those kinds of players that fills a role that other forwards aren’t willing to do.”

That was more evident during Jefferson’s run last season. Getchell played alongside All-State forward Chris Sanders on the Raiders’ front line. Sanders, who started as a freshman at the University of Portland in the fall, was the protypical 6-foot-2 post-up forward. Getchell’s hard work and runs down the field led to Sanders scoring a number of his 22 goals last year.

“Ricky did all the work that Chris didn’t do,” Sawatzky said. “Chemistry is huge in soccer and you need guys who are willing to embrace roles. He did the dirty work for Chris.”

But, with Sanders gone, the 2004 season has been Getchell’s chance to shine as the Raiders’ goal-scorer.

“It was awesome playing with Chris,” Getchell said. “I learned so much from him. He kind of took me under his wing. My role last year was just to work hard and put some pressure on the defense.”

“You just have to give Ricky time to make an impact,” Sawatzky said. “He is not super flashy, but is willing to put in the work.

“He is going to make it in life.”

Getchell just might not do it the “pretty” way.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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