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Posts Tagged ‘Derek Leyva’

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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With 38 goals in two seasons, CHS soccer star Derek Leyva was eight scores from claiming the school’s career record. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Leyva is moving out of state, bringing an end to one of the more electrifying runs by a CHS athlete.

The thrill is gone.

Or, at least he will be in just a few days.

Coupeville High School is losing its top active soccer scorer, as Derek Leyva is moving out of state Saturday, bringing an end to one of the more electrifying runs by a Wolf athlete.

He’ll depart having scored 38 goals in two seasons for the CHS pitch squad.

Derek Leyva tossed in a Wolf boys single-season record 24 goals as a sophomore in 2018, then netted 14 more this spring.

His 38 goals stands second all-time on the school’s career list, trailing just cousin Abraham Leyva, who knocked in 45 scores in the three seasons he played in Coupeville.

Mia (35 goals) and Kalia Littlejohn (33) are #1 and #2 on the girls chart, and #3 and #4 in school history.

Abraham’s younger brother, Aram, who’s #3 on the boys career list (and #5 overall) with 29 goals, now has an open path at the career mark heading into his senior season.

With quick bursts of speed, the ability to pump fake defenders into the stands, an often-surprising amount of toughness, and an artful scoring touch, Derek Leyva was like no other booter we’ve seen in a Wolf uniform.

He also surprised a lot of people with how strong a football player he was during his junior season last fall.

We knew he had a powerful leg, and the first couple of times he took the field, it was as a kicker, which was to be expected.

But, as the season progressed, Derek Leyva made an impact on every part of the game, proving to be a sure-handed receiver and a sturdy part of the Wolf secondary.

While we largely focus on his athletic ability — this is a sports blog, after all — he’s also a solid citizen, a good guy all around.

I’ve always been fairly open about the fact soccer is not high on my list of favorite sports.

I’m an idiot and I probably don’t have the ability to appreciate the intricacies of the world’s favorite sport.

But watching Derek play was genuinely exciting.

He played at a level few Coupeville athletes do, in any sport.

If I had to pay to attend games (which, thankfully, I don’t), he would have been certainly worth the price of admission.

So, thank you for the last two years, Mr. Leyva, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

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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

 

Managers:

Natalie Hollrigel
Michael Laska

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After losing Wednesday in Lynden, James Wood and Coupeville soccer face a must-win game Saturday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s backs to the wall time.

Unable to hold a second-half lead Wednesday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad fell 3-2 at Lynden Christian in a district playoff game, and finds itself on the cusp of elimination.

The Wolves, now 6-9 on the season, face Meridian Saturday at Whatcom Community College in a make-or-break game.

The winner of the 7 PM clash finishes 5th at the district tourney and advances to bi-districts, while the loser is done for the season.

Meridian (9-7-2) is a familiar foe, and a higher-ranked one than Coupeville might have expected to play.

The Trojans, who beat the Wolves 4-0 in a non-conference game early in the season, is the #1 seed from the Northwest Conference, but was stunned 3-1 Wednesday by Mount Baker.

Lynden Christian and Baker play for 3rd and 4th place Saturday, while King’s and South Whidbey play for 1st and 2nd.

All four of those teams have clinched a trip to bi-districts.

Coupeville, which opened the playoffs with a forfeit win over Cedar Park Christian, played strongly Wednesday, jumping out to a 1-0 lead at the half thanks to a Derek Leyva score.

The opening goal came just a few minutes into the game, when the Wolf junior slipped a shot from distance through the fingers of the Lyncs goaltender.

Leyva then notched another goal 10 minutes into the second half, taking a through ball from Chris Cernick and doin’ what he does best – make the net sing.

The two-goal night gives Coupeville’s scoring ace 14 goals for the season, and 38 for his two-year career in the red and black.

Up 2-0, the Wolves were rockin’ and rollin’, until the refs got involved and sent the game careening in a different direction.

“Looked like we might just cruise to a nice victory at that point,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson. “Then, things changed.”

Lynden cracked the seal on the net, scoring twice on corner kicks, before being awarded a questionable penalty kick to win the game.

“Sure looked to me to be a bit of a gift,” Nelson said. “The foul sure looked to occur outside of the penalty box.

“We pressed for our own equalizer, but came up just short.”

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