Thomas Jefferson Raiders
Head coach: Joshua Hauck
2016 record: League: 7-6-1, Overall: 8-8-1
2016 postseason: 1-0 loss to Puyallup
2016 key departures: Jasmine Pleasants (M), Kiersten Madsen (M), Daeh Lindquist (D)
2017 key returners: Hailey Still (F), Dakne Blanco-Ramirez (D), Raisa Pleasants (M), Aliya Ramil (D), Madison Still (D)
At a glance: The Thomas Jefferson Raiders are looking to have a strong season with a relatively young team. Although there were key seniors who left, they still have players such as forward Hailey Still, one of only two freshman to make earn a first-team honor for 4A NPSL all-league girl’s soccer in 2016.
Head coach Josh Hauck said even though the team is young, the players still have some experience.
“Every game but one of them last year, we got every single girl from the bench onto the field,” Hauck said. “Getting these younger players on the field was our main priority.”
A problem the Raiders may run into in 2017 is the center of the field with midfielders Jasmine Pleasants and Kiersten Madsen gone.
“Jasmine and Kiersten held down the midfield and controlled the game,” Hauck said. “Losing their leadership and experience is where we will be missing a lot, but we have quality players who can step up into their position.”
Decatur Golden Gators
Head Coach: Angie Karabaich
2016 record: League: 1-12-2, Overall: 1-12-2
2016 postseason: No post-season appearance
2017 key returners: Hannah Shires (F), Aubrey Smith (F), Madison Combs (GK), Sydney Victor (D), Anna Swanson (M), Jessica Karmell (M)
At a glance: The Decatur Gators have struggled in the past. They finished 2015 with a 2-11 record and went 1-12-2 in 2016. One area they struggled in was defense, conceding 54 goals in 15 games, with only one clean sheet. They will bring back the majority of last year’s team, however, which could help them this season.
Todd Beamer Titans
Head coach: Joel Lindberg
2016 record: League: 13-0-1, Overall: 14-2-1
2016 post-season: 1-0 loss to Bellarmine
2016 key departures: Ameera Hussen (M), Jillian Ory (D), Courtney Cecil (GK), Hannah Valenzuela-Davis (M)
2017 key returners: Makayla Miller (F), Cristina Alvarez (M), Kini Dayley (D)
At a glance: The Titans had a very strong season last year but an upsetting off-season. This year they no longer have midfielder and 4A NPSL Athlete of the Year Ameera Hussen. A bigger challenge is 12 girls have left Beamer’s team from last year. Nine graduated, and three left for other reasons.
Despite this, coach Joel Lindberg is still hopeful after seeing tryouts.
“There are great freshmen, and I’m actually very optomistic entering this season,” Lindberg said. “The only way we can fill [Ameera leaving] is having 11 girls on the field doing their job. We won’t have that superstar on the field but will have 11 hard-working players.”
The Titans’ edge over the competition is Lindberg, who is a proven winner as he coached the boys team to their first state title in the history of Todd Beamer, winning 4A All-State Coach of the Year, as well.
Federal Way Eagles
Head coach: Jason Baumgardt
2016 record: League: 7-6-1, Overall: 8-8-1
2016 postseason: Loss to Bellarmine Prep 1-0
2016 key departures: Karina Provo (M), Kayley Cruz (D), Brynn Ward (M)
2017 key returners: Anjilia Sumandig (F), Raquel Prado-Huerta (M), Larissa Caldera (D)
At a glance:
Last season, the Eagles had mixed results. They were winning games 6-2, 4-0, 5-0, 6-1 and 6-0, but their problem was the match-ups that seemed even on paper. They cracked under pressure during rival games, such as Todd Beamer, losing 5-1 and 1-0.
This year, the Eagles lack of experience is something coach Jason Baumgardt is worried about.
“It’s going to be a learning curve. We will try to be competitive this year, but there’s only one girl on the entire team who plays club soccer outside of high school, and she’s a freshman,” Baumgardt said.
Federal Way picked up two freshmen, and have five seniors on their roster, although only three of those seniors are returners from last year.
“It’s a really new team. It’ll be a huge learning experience for us,” Baumgardt said.
Coach: Tom Wallet
The girl’s golf team will be led by sophomores, specifically Kelsey and Kayla Yi. As freshman, those two girl’s made it to the state tournament and finished middle of the pack which coach Tom Wallet said is very good for freshman.
“We’ve also added two sophomores from the girl’s basketball team, and they’re very athletic,” Wallet said. “Besides the Yi sisters, every girl on the team is a beginner golfer. But these two players are showing a lot of promise. They’re not only competitive, but have a lot of potential.”
Coach: Tim McManemy
The Eagles will try to rebuild this season after four of its golfers graduated last year.
Coach: Chad Fahnlander
Although still strong, Thomas Jefferson was not able to replicate its 8-0 league season of 2015 and finished with an overall record of 6-4 last year.
This year, coach Chad Fahnlander is confident his team can compete for the division title.
“Our depth is better than last year, our players one through six are all really good,” he said. “We also have Josephine Kim, who made it to state the past two years and is now entering her junior year.”
Coach: Steve Gorringe
The Gators finished in the bottom of the pack last year, not pulling together a win during the regular season. Decatur will begin the 2017 season against Federal Way.
Coach: Brent Brilhante
This season should a rebuilding year for the Titans. With their best golfer Matt Russell gone, Beamer will be looking to new golfers to help carry the team.
“It’s going to be a very young and inexperienced golfing group,” coach Brent Brilhante said. “We are going to be pretty thin.”
Brilhante said he is looking for improvement this season and hopes to surprise a few schools.
Coach: Bart Turchin
Federal Way is looking to have a very strong team going into 2017. Underclassmen Zach Victor, Carter Berry and Cole Bakker will be head coach Bart Turchin’s main golfers.
“We are very young,” Turchin said. “We only have one returning senior and have four starters from last year. It’s my second year coaching, and I am expecting to have a great golf program within four years of me being here.”
Turchin is currently a golf professional and has been at Northshore Golf Course for the past 25 years. His hopes his knowledge of the sport will give the Eagles the edge this year.
“We are more experienced this year, and me as a golf professional, I can help them become much better,” Turchin said.
Coach: Jon Angell
Coach: Jennifer Williams
2016 boys record: 4-3
2016 girls record: 2-5
Key boy returners: AJ Chopra, 5-kilometer personal best: 16 minutes, 40 seconds (fifth fastest NPSL time); Alonso Banuelos, 5-k personal best: 16:53 (seventh fastest NPSL time)
Key boy departures: Austin Bass, 5-k PB: 17:07 (14th fastest NPSL time)
Key girl returners: Madison Heck, 5-k PB: 21:01 (12th fastest NPSL time); Sierra Stillwell, 5-k PB: 22:28 (34th fastest NPSL time)
At a glance: Both the Titan boys and girls are looking strong going into the 2017 season.
“Beamer is looking very good,” coach Jennifer Williams said. “Our boys team is looking strong. We have one state returner in AJ Chopra, and a high district qualifier who has the potential to make it to state in Alonso Banuelos. Our girl’s team is really young but will also be strong.”
Coach: Chris Williams
2016 boys record: 2-5
2016 girls record: 7-0
Key boy returners: Justin Beumeler, 5-k PB: 17:12 (16 fastest NPSL time); Colton Low, 5k PB: 17:50
Key boy departures: Jesse Goldstone, 5-k PB: 17:22 (22nd fastest NPSL time)
Key girl returners: Bethany Forward, 5-k PB: 19:58 (Fifth fastest NPSL time); Haley Jacobson, 5-k pB: 20:14 (seventh fastest NPSL time); Olivia Chong, 5-k PB: 20:31 (Ninth fastest NPSL time); Cosette Clum, 5-k PB: 21:06 (13th fastest NPSL time)
Key girl departures: Naomi Kuhnly, 5-k PB: 23:10
At a glance: The Eagles could also have a strong season, especially the girls, with four returners who are among the top 15 NPSL runners. Hailey Jacobson, who was the top runner for the girls all year last season until the final meet, will lead the pack.
“Our girls team will be very strong, and we are returning every girl from last year,” coach Chris Williams said. “Our boys will be much improved. It was almost an entire team of sophomores last year, and now as juniors, they should be much stronger. We expect the girls to make it to state, and we hope the some boys will make it as well.”
On the boys side, the standard-setter will be Justin Beumeler, a junior who could break into the top 10 of the NPSL this season.
2016 boys record: 0-7
2016 girls record: 0-7
Key boy returners: Leonardo Rojas-Apodaca, 5-k PB: 18:53 (60th fastest NPSL time)
Key boy departures: Wyatt Loranger, 5-k PB: 18:54 (62nd fastest NPSL time)
Key girl returners: Catherine Huynh, 5k PB: 21:42 (23rd fastest NPSL time); Anne-Sofie Darket, 5-k PB: 22:08 (28th fastest NPSL time)
At a glance: Junior Leonardo Rojas-Apodaca should be the top runner for the Gators going into 2017. The girls were a bit stronger than the guys in 2016, with now-sophomore Catherine Huynh leading the pack. She entered her freshman year and instantly became the Gators’ top female runner, finishing with the 23rd fastest 5-k time in NPSL.
“There are a lot of new faces on the cross country team on both the girls and boys side,” Krystal Perez said in an email. “This will probably be the biggest girl’s team we’ve had in years.”
Coach: Paul Ruston
2016 boys record: 5-2
2016 girls record: 5-2
Key boy returners: Austin Miller, 5-k PB: 16:28 (First fastest NPSL time); Noah Kropp, 5-k PB: 17:15 (17th fastest NPSL time)
Key boy departures: Rajesh Gill, 5-k PB: 16:32 (Second fastest NPSL time); Will Minnick, 5-k PB: 17:41 (27th fastest NPSL time); Ryan Woobank, 5-k PB: 17:49 (30th fastest NPSL time)
Key girl returner: Ally Peterson, 5-k PB: 19:49 (Second fastest NPSL time); Mayela Perez -Alvarez, 5-k PB: 19:58 (Fourth fastest NPSL time); Victoria Delk, 5-k PB: 20:41 (10th fastest NPSL time)
Key girl departures: Lydia Wolfman
Although the Raiders lost Rajesh Gill, the NPSL’s second-fastest runner, they still have the first fastest, Austin Miller. Miller put up a 16:28 5-k time. The girls are just as strong with Ally Peterson returning for her junior year, and Mayela Perez-Alvarez returning only as a sophomore. The girls have picked up two new freshmen, Paulina Laris and Alisha Saucedo, who coach Paul Ruston said will go straight into the varsity team.
“We have two freshmen girls this year who have been doing really well this summer,” Ruston said. “[Laris] was district champ in the 800-meter race in middle school and so far has looked very strong.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for more fall sports previews in next week’s Mirror.