Posts Tagged ‘Aram Leyva’

Graduation in the time of a pandemic for Marenna Rebischke-Smith. (Photo by Gail Rebischke-Smith)

Bouncing through Facebook I go, plucking photos left and right.

Here a grad, there a grad, everywhere a grad.

Coupeville High School’s Class of 2020 may have had a unique ceremony Saturday, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but, in the end, one thing matters – they’re done.

Off to the real world they go, diploma in hand.

Willow Vick and Aram Leyva. (Brian Vick photo)

Emma Somes and dad Ian. (Photo courtesy Somes family)

A pack of Wolf grads congregate in the woods. (Brian Vick photo)

Melia Welling and mom Charlie. (Melissa Losey photo)

Willow Vick (left), Natalie Hollrigel (center), and Raven Vick. (Brian Vick photo)

Hunter Wilkinson (center) with brothers Ethan Boyd (left) and Riley Boyd. (Carrie Wilkinson photo)

Raven Vick and Hannah Davidson. (Brian Vick photo)

A truly awesome graduation cake for Zach Ginnings. (Frank Stephan photo)

Willow Vick and Sean Toomey-Stout. (Brian Vick photo)

Ulrik Wells. (Katy Wells photo)

Maya Toomey-Stout (left), Tia Wurzrainer (center), Scout Smith. (Brian Vick photo)

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Aram Leyva joins big bro Abraham and cousin Derek in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Same family, different playing styles, similar results.

Cousins Aram and Derek Leyva followed a trail of success blazed by Aram’s big brother, Abraham, but will be remembered for what they personally accomplished.

The duo were as talented as any soccer players ever to wear the red and black for Coupeville High School, and only a pandemic shutting down state schools could slow them down on the pitch.

Derek, who tallied 38 goals in just two seasons at CHS, finishes as the #2 scorer in Wolf boys soccer history, denied a senior season in which he likely would have passed Abraham, who hit the back of the net 45 times between 2014-2016.

While he might not have the career record, Derek does hold the CHS boys single-season mark, having made rival goalies look silly while recording 24 goals during his sophomore season.

No slouch himself, Aram rang up 29 goals of his own across three seasons, before he too lost his senior campaign to the pandemic.

Derek Leyva owns the Wolf boys soccer single-season scoring record.

On the pitch, Derek was a burst of silky lightning, often flying past defenders, then snapping their ankles with quick cut-backs, all while flicking the ball along like he was operating a yo-yo.

Let’s face it – I’m not a soccer expert.

I don’t always understand the subtle nuances of the beautiful game, or always properly appreciate the sport, but that didn’t stop me from responding to most of his eye-popping plays with a long, slow “Damn … Derek!”

And he wasn’t just a star on the pitch, returning to the same field to captivate people with his play on the football gridiron as well.

We knew Derek had a leg capable of launching the ball, regardless of the sport, so seeing him make his debut as a kicker felt right.

But, surprise!

He also had other skills, whether as a receiver on offense or operating as a defensive back, and it would have been nice to see him get more than the handful of games he ultimately played.

One game, or a series of them, didn’t matter, however.

Derek is that rare Coupeville athlete who operates on a higher plain, and we should appreciate whatever exploits we were allowed to enjoy.

Derek Leyva, on his way to ringing up another goal.

Same with Aram, who was a rough ‘n tumble dude while in action, in the best way possible.

Early on, he competed in track and field, and messed people up on the basketball court, but it was soccer, the family sport, where his star shone brightest.

Aram has a light touch with the ball, and can flick shots into the corner of the net, an inch away from a madly-scrambling goalie, just like his brother and cousin.

But he can also — and this is my favorite part of his game — run right over multiple defenders, carving a path of destruction as he rumbles to pay dirt.

Every time Aram took the pitch, the Wolf captain seemed to seek out contact, the harder the better.

The first time he backs down from a rival team, regardless of what pampered private school they hail from, well … that will be the first time, cause it never happened during his CHS days.

There’s a photo of Aram from back in his youth league days, and in it, he’s flinging two defenders airborne as he bulls his way to the ball, an unstoppable force of fury who happens to be smiling as he makes the turf rumble.

It’s kind of beautiful.

Aram Leyva, a pitch powerhouse.

It would have been great for the Leyva lads to get one more go-round in CHS uniforms this spring, Derek’s silky speed and Aram’s bone-crunching fury meshing together to decimate anyone stupid enough to stand in their way.

It didn’t happen, which is too bad, but a lost season does nothing to detract from the legacy they leave behind.

Future Wolf soccer players, both those who played alongside them, and those who will arrive in years to come, should aim to play like the duo. That is the route to success.

For today, we honor what they accomplished by inducting them into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where they’ll join Abraham.

After this, take a gander at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, and you’ll find all three Leyva men right where they belong.

They earned enshrinement with every eye-popping goal, every perfectly-placed pass, every brilliant play, every rugged display of “this is my frickin’ pitch, and YOU need to move!”

The gold standard for CHS soccer? Without a doubt.

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James Wood has tallied six goals during his CHS soccer career. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Spoiler alert: a Leyva shall likely rule them all.

But which Leyva?

With the start of a new Coupeville High School boys soccer season a week away, all eyes return to our (at least partially complete) career scoring list, and the three-way battle for supremacy atop that chart.

The CHS booters debuted in 2004, and as we prep for the 2020 season, the top three scorers all hail from the same family.

The graduated Abraham Leyva tallied 45 goals in his three years on the Coupeville pitch, while his cousin Derek (38) and younger brother Aram (29) are both chasing his legacy heading into their senior season.

After a brief detour in which Derek left CHS after his junior year, he’s back attending school in Cow Town, and is eligible to play this spring, according to Wolf Athletic Director Willie Smith.

That reignites a chase for the career record, though the Leyva cousins are not the only active players who can add to their totals.

There are nine Wolves who can both play this spring, and have already scored at least one varsity goal for the program.

And, a brief note of caution — as you scan the career scoring list below, no one is claiming it is 100% correct, as goal-scoring from the early seasons of the program have been surprisingly hard to track.

The local newspapers just flat-out did a horrible job of documenting who scored in the early 2000’s, so it’s very likely players such as Jon Chittim and Geoff Wacker should have higher totals.

But, until someone pops up with some reputable CHS soccer stats from a time when Shakira captivated the nation with Hips Don’t Lie, this is what we have.


(Semi-realistic) CHS boys soccer all-time goal-scoring chart:

Abraham Leyva — 45
Derek Leyva — 38 — **ACTIVE**
Aram Leyva — 29 — **ACTIVE**
William Nelson — 20
Ethan Spark — 17
Zane Bundy — 11
Mike Duke — 10
Micah Einterz — 10
Geoff Wacker — 10
Jon Chittim — 9
Sebastian Davis — 8
Sean Donley — 7
Sage Downes — 7 — **ACTIVE
Zack Nall — 6
James Wood — 6 — **ACTIVE**
Jeremy Copenhaver — 5
Hunter Downes — 5
Sam Wynn — 5 — **ACTIVE**
Nathan Lamb — 4
Greg Mottet — 4
Tony Sherman — 4
Evan Bailey — 3
Colin Belliveau — 3
Chris Cernick — 3 — **ACTIVE**
Pedro Gamarra — 3
Tom Rogers — 3
Jaren Tso — 3
Joel Walstad — 3
Josh Wilsey — 3
Taylor Anthony — 2
Jack Armstrong — 2
Andre Avila — 2
Will Butela — 2
Garrett Compton — 2
Tyler Harvey — 2
Uriel Liquidano — 2
JT Quinn — 2
Justin Adams — 1
Eli Berggren — 1
Laurence Boado — 1
Cameron Boyd — 1
Josiah Campbell — 1
Tony Garcia — 1 — **ACTIVE**
Zach Hauser — 1
Tanner Kircher — 1
Jason Leavitt — 1
Garrit Manker — 1
Cody Menges — 1
Xavier Murdy — 1 — **ACTIVE**
Loren Nelson — 1
Jonathan Partida — 1 — **ACTIVE**
Ehren Phillips — 1
Matt Scott — 1
Spencer Tack — 1
Zeb Williams — 1

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Coupeville senior Teo Keilwitz capped a four-year run on the prep soccer pitch Wednesday with a final awards banquet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf junior Aram Leyva was a First-Team All-Conference selection.

First year in a new league, and Coupeville High School boys soccer made a nice showing.

The Wolves, who finished 6-10, winning one of three playoff games even while hampered by a major wave of injuries, placed three players on the North Sound Conference All-League teams.

Junior Aram Leyva claimed First-Team honors while junior Derek Leyva and sophomore Sam Wynn were tabbed for Second-Team acclaim.

The All-Conference awards were just part of the hardware handed out Wednesday, as Coupeville’s booters capped their season with a banquet.

In team awards, Derek Leyva was selected as the Player of the Year, while Dewitt Cole (Most Inspirational), Chris Cernick (Most Improved), and Xavier Murdy (Rookie of the Year) also came to the podium.

Teo Keilwitz and Uriah Kastner were honored for being four-year players, while Keilwitz and Aram Leyva were team captains.


Varsity letter winners:

Andrew Aparicio
Owen Barenburg
Aiden Burdge
Chris Cernick
Dewitt Cole
Miles Davidson
Sage Downes
Dakota Eck
Tony Garcia
Alex Jimenez
Uriah Kastner
Teo Keilwitz
Michael Langille
Aram Leyva
Derek Leyva
Xavier Murdy
Jonathan Partida
James Wood
Sam Wynn


Certificate of participation:

Zach Ginnings
Eli Kastner
Simon Socha



Natalie Hollrigel
Michael Laska

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Chris Cernick has punched in two goals for Coupeville High School soccer this spring. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

With four scores in 2019, sophomore Sage Downes has run his career total to seven goals.

Since the Coupeville High School soccer programs only began in 2004, I assumed it would be fairly easy to track down complete scoring records.

To which the universe flicked me behind the ear while whispering, “Oh, you naive fool.”

Having obtained access to the Whidbey News-Times archives, it took me maybe 12 minutes, tops, before finding I was on a mission which was not going to end well.

Having put in 2+ years as a sports editor at that newspaper back in the day, I understand the tricky balancing act it takes to cover both Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

But, when it came to covering soccer, there were a couple of my successors, who, it would seem, didn’t even try.

Huge chunks of games were missing, no one ran stat totals for soccer, ever, and, barring a miracle, we’ll never really know how many goals Geoff Wacker, Mike Duke and other early CHS pitch stars tallied.

I can tell you, with 99.9992% precision, who scored goals the past seven seasons (2013-2019), which have played out during the life of Coupeville Sports.

Before that, I can give you season team totals, though not individual stats, for 2010-2012, thanks to the archives of the North Sound Conference site.

Having held on to game scores from Coupeville’s four-year stint in the Olympic League and its final five seasons in the Cascade Conference, at least the NSC site is trying.

All of this is preamble to taking a look at how the current Wolves compare to their predecessors.

With four regular-season games left on the schedule, and then at least one (and hopefully many more) playoff games, the 2019 squad is rising up the charts.

The current Wolves sit tied for 6th, and while it’s unlikely they’ll catch last year’s record-busting team, it wouldn’t take much for them to at least finish in the top five over the last decade.


Year-by-year team totals:

2010 – 39 goals
2011 – 30
2012 – 27
2013 – 15
2014 – 22
2015 – 37
2016 – 48
2017 – 26
2018 – 66
2019 — 27 and counting


Season-to-date individual scoring totals:

Aram Leyva 9
Derek Leyva 9
Sage Downes 4
Chris Cernick 2
James Wood 2
Tony Garcia 1

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