Archive for the ‘Boys Soccer’ Category

   Coupeville’s Chayse Van Velkinburgh, a 7-year-old playing for a U10 soccer squad, won a tourney title this weekend. (Photos courtesy Dustin Van Velkinburgh)

   Deception FC, and its Cow Town gunslinger (second from left, bottom row) marinate in the victory.

Like father, like son.

Coupeville hoops coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh was a soccer sensation back in his younger days, and now his son, Chayse, is coming for all the old man’s records.

The younger Van Velkinburgh, who is headed into the second grade at Coupeville Elementary this fall, is proving to be a pitch prodigy.

While he’s only seven, Chayse is already advanced enough he plays alongside booters several years older.

He and his squad, the Deception FC, stormed through the field at the Starfire Xtreme Cup in Tukwila this weekend, capturing the title in the U10 select gold division.

Van Velkinburgh started all four games on defense.

When he wasn’t locking down rival shooters, he also moved forward at times, punching home a goal and recording four assists.

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Star player turned assistant coach Luke Pelant “brought a quiet calm to the back line” during his days on the soccer pitch. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

William Nelson was a four-time First-Team All-Conference player.

Kyle Nelson has seen some stuff on the soccer pitch.

He began his run at Coupeville High School as an assistant coach, helping guide several teams to the state tourney.

Then, after Paul Mendes retired, Nelson stepped up to take over the Wolf boys program, before also adding the CHS girls coaching gig last season.

Calm, cool, composed, understated, and a natty dresser to boot, he likes to let his player’s actions speak largely for themselves.

But today, as we publish Part 4 in our five-part series on Coupeville coaches discussing the best players they’ve worked with, Nelson lets loose like never before.

So, let me get out of the way and give the man the mic.

Best female athlete – With only a year as the girl’s soccer coach this is a little harder, but the best athlete would be Lindsey RobertsShe brings speed and agility like no other to the field.

Looking a little further and including those soccer skills, Kalia Littlejohn brings a ton of ball skills and field smarts to the team.

Best male athlete – For pure athleticism, a couple stand out.

Nathan Lamb had that quick burst and lateral movement none could keep up with, and William Nelson (and yes, maybe a little father bias) brought agility and silky smoothness bigger guys don’t usually posses.

Will also brought ball skill and soccer talent that few others in our program have had.

Which brings me to some of those other talented players — all of the Leyva boys.

Abraham Leyva, Aram Leyva and Derek Leyva have brought huge amounts of soccer skill to our field; each, in their own unique way, have been hugely instrumental to our program’s success.

CHS athlete I wish I coached – For the girls that is easy – Makana Stone.

She played for a couple of years, but then focused on her other sports.

She brought speed and athleticism to the field. Having that kind of talent to work with would be very fun.

Though I know he would have never played soccer, having the multi-talented Hunter Smith on the soccer field would have been fun to see what could have happened.

Underrated athletes – for the girls, Sage Renninger.

She really was the heart and soul of the team last year, bringing a leadership and talent that was vital to the team.

For the boys, Luke Pelant.

Was one of the best defenders here at Coupeville; he brought a quiet calm to the back line that made that group responsible for the best defensive team we have had.

Best role model – William Nelson has brought the whole package to the soccer field.

Talented player that became that way through years of hard work, through his playing off-season on various select teams, just going to the field to play, or going to the gym to workout.

One of the few players selected two years team captain; really developed into the team leader both at practice and on the field at game time.

At practice he was always one of the hardest workers, always pushing himself and leading by example. He also always kept his cool on the field, helping calm players down when needed.

Really represented CHS with great sportsmanship and class.

And lastly, but most importantly he excelled as a student athlete, balancing sport and academics very successfully.

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After scoring 24 goals, CHS sophomore Derek Leyva was named the Olympic League boys soccer MVP. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Their final season in the Olympic League was a major success.

After three years of garnering third-place finishes, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad surged to second-place in 2018, then made its longest playoff run in a decade.

CHS bounced five-time state champ Bellevue Christian from the postseason, then pushed Vashon Island and Klahowya hard in playoff losses.

With a solid core of young players (its top two scorers are only sophomores), the Wolves are primed for future success as they head to the new North Sound Conference next year.

And one of those sophomores, Derek Leyva, is still making headlines after being selected Olympic League MVP.

It’s the first time a non-Klahowya player was honored as the top boys soccer player in the four years of the conference.

Making his debut in 2018 with CHS, Leyva scorched the nets for 24 goals, a single-season record for the Wolf boys program.

He shattered the previous mark of 20, set by cousin Abraham Leyva in 2016.

Also pulling down big honors from league coaches were senior William Nelson and sophomore Aram Leyva, who were tabbed as First-Team All-Conference players.

It was Nelson’s fourth time to receive the honor.

Those awards, and team honors, letters and certificates, were handed out Thursday night as the booters kicked off Coupeville’s spring sports banquet circuit.

Derek Leyva was also named the team’s Player of the Year, while Uriah Kastner (Most Improved), Nelson (Most Inspirational) and Sam Wynn (Rookie of the Year) received varsity awards.

JV players Dawson Houston (Most Inspirational) and Ben Smith (Most Improved) were honored, as well.

“This was a great season for us with plenty of records and firsts in quite a few years,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson.

Varsity letter-winners:

Chris Cernick
Dewitt Cole
Hunter Downes
Sage Downes
Pedro Gamarra
Uriah Kastner
Teo Keilwitz
Aram Leyva
Derek Leyva
William Nelson (4-year letter winner)
Axel Partida
Josh Robinson
Ethan Spark (4-year letter winner)
James Wood
Sam Wynn

JV certificates:

Zach Ginnings
Dawson Houston
Alex Jimenez
Jonathan Partida
Ben Smith
Simon Socha


Peytin Vondrak

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Jenna Dickson leads off our collection of spring sports portraits. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Zach Ginnings

Alex Jimenez

James Vidoni

Mason Grove

Dawson Houston

Ben Smith

Ivy Leedy

Time for a little spring cleaning.

As the season winds down, I’m going through head shots snapped by John Fisken and trying to make sure 99.3% of them get used.

The eight above, covering softball, baseball and boys soccer, are ones that, for whatever reason, had yet to see the light of day.

Before you ask, there are no tennis pics because it’s a smaller team and I already used all their head shots.

And track? It’s a bigger team and no one snapped head shots, so I can’t use something I never had.

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   Former All-Conference player Luke Pelant joined the CHS soccer coaching staff this year, helping the Wolves make their longest playoff run since 2010. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The 11th time was not the charm.

Squaring off with Olympic League rival Klahowya Thursday night in Silverdale, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad experienced a good case of deja vu.

Falling 3-0 to the host Eagles, the Wolves were knocked out of the West Central District 3 playoffs and likely ended their relationship with a school they could not beat on the pitch.

After making their deepest run into the postseason in almost a decade, the Coupeville booters finished 7-9-2.

A win over five-time state champ Bellevue Christian kicked things off, then losses to Vashon Island and KSS ended things.

Now CHS jumps to the new North Sound Conference, and returns to District 1, this fall.

Klahowya (14-3-1), which never lost to a fellow 1A Olympic League team in four years, advances to play either Vashon Island or Charles Wright Academy Saturday in a winner-to-state, loser-goes-home game.

The Eagles scored early Thursday, when Pacific Lutheran University recruit Mason Joe hauled in a long ball and poked it into the back of the net.

A second goal came in the 22nd minute, when Josh Connolly’s corner kick found the perfect angle and deflected in off of Coupeville goaltender Dewitt Cole’s outstretched hands.

The Wolves played aggressively in the second half, hoping to emulate their late-game heroics against Vashon, but it wasn’t to be.

The game’s final score, a tap-in off of a cross, came courtesy William Stewart.

“It was a fairly close game,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “They made us pay for a couple of mistakes and were able to keep us at bay, though we did have a few pretty good shots.

“They definitely put some attention on their defense to keep us out,” he added. “Overall, a good game for us; we were in it until the very end.”

While the loss ended the season, and the careers of seniors Hunter Downes, Axel Partida, Ethan Spark and William Nelson, this postseason was the best for Wolf boys soccer in quite some time.

The last playoff win for CHS came in 2012, and the three games was the most Coupeville had played in one postseason since they won four of six playoff games during a run to the state tourney in 2010.

The Wolves also busted two single-season goal scoring records, with sophomore Derek Leyva toppling cousin Abraham’s mark for a player (21 goals), and the team tallying a program-best 66 scores.

Those who found the net in 2018:

Derek Leyva – 24
Aram Leyva – 13
William Nelson – 8
Sam Wynn – 5
Hunter Downes – 3
Sage Downes – 3
Pedro Gamarra – 3
Ethan Spark – 2
James Wood – 2
Chris Cernick – 1
Jonathan Partida – 1
“Own” goal by other team – 1

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