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Posts Tagged ‘Derek Leyva’

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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Freshman Xavier Murdy played strongly Tuesday in Coupeville soccer’s regular-season finale. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

In small bursts, there were positives.

For one thing, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad got to play on its own field Tuesday, something which hasn’t happened in more than a full month.

After five straight road games, and then a scheduled home game which turned into a win by forfeit, when Cedar Park Christian declined to travel, it was about time.

Or at least that’s probably what the folks running the concession stand were thinking.

With hot dogs and candy being doled out, and the stands fairly full thanks to it being a rivalry game, that was positive.

The final result on the scoreboard, with visiting South Whidbey romping to an 8-1 victory, and maybe, possibly, running the score up a bit at the end, was less positive.

But, even with the loss, Coupeville, which wraps league play at 3-5, is sitting in a decent place.

The Wolves, 5-8 overall, are the #3 seed from the North Sound Conference heading into the district playoffs, which means they get to host a postseason game.

And truly host it this time.

While playing in District 3, Coupeville’s “home” playoff games were held at Oak Harbor’s stadium, because of that district’s insistence on all soccer playoff games being held on turf fields.

Back in District 1 this year, the Wolves don’t face the same restriction.

That means Monday, Apr. 29, they’re slated to host Cedar Park in a loser-out playoff game on the grass at Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

Kickoff is 6 PM and, because it’s a playoff game, admission will be charged.

Win against CPC and Coupeville advances to play at least two more playoff games, with a solid shot at advancing to bi-districts.

Tuesday night, the scrappy Wolves didn’t play all that badly, but they did run into a bit of a buzz-saw in a Falcon squad which is 7-0 in league, 11-1 overall.

“We had plenty of good minutes, just not a good game,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “Give South Whidbey their due, though, they’re a good, tough team.”

The Falcons scored early and often, finding holes in the Wolf defense and rattling home five unanswered goals in the first half.

After the break, the Wolves played aggressively, with Derek Leyva lofting in his 12th goal of the season, before narrowly missing on another score the very next time down the field.

Coupeville, which was playing without several starters, including goaltender Dewitt Cole, was the more physical team and bounced a few bodies around in the late going.

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After a tough 4-3 loss Tuesday at Sultan, Alex Jimenez and his CHS soccer teammates will have to fight to earn a home playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kyle Nelson is not especially fond of making road trips to Sultan.

The Coupeville High School soccer coach has made the trek twice this school year, and both times things ended badly.

During the fall, Nelson’s girls’ squad fell 1-0 in a game which proved to be fatal to the Wolves bid for a playoff spot.

Tuesday night, it was time for the Wolf boys to head to Sultan, and, despite a late rally, they fell short on the same artificial turf field, dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker.

While this defeat won’t keep the Coupeville boys from playing in the postseason — they’ve already clinched a playoff berth — it still stings.

The biggest reason is a win would have solidified the Wolves hold on the #3 seed from the North Sound Conference.

Instead, at 2-4 in league play, 4-7 overall, CHS slips a half-game back of Sultan (2-3, 3-8).

South Whidbey (5-0, 9-1) and King’s (5-1, 6-2-1) are battling for the conference crown, while Cedar Park Christian (0-6, 0-8) sits mired in the cellar of what became a five-team league after Granite Falls was unable to field a squad this season.

The #3 NSC team gets a home district playoff opener against the #5 NSC team, while the #4 squad has to travel to play the #3 Northwest Conference squad.

Both games are loser-out affairs, but, if you win your first game, you advance to the double-elimination portion of the bracket.

Coupeville, which played five straight on the road, culminating in Tuesday’s loss, closes the regular season at home with games Apr. 19 against CPC and Apr. 23 vs. South Whidbey.

Sultan faces South Whidbey (Apr. 19), King’s (Apr. 23), and CPC (Apr. 25) for its stretch run.

While the Wolves have lost four straight, the Turks are coming on strongly, winning three straight after losing their first eight. One of those defeats, a 2-0 loss, came at Coupeville earlier in the season.

Tuesday night Sultan jumped all over the Wolves in the early going, building a 3-0 lead before the halftime break.

Aram Leyva got one goal back for Coupeville, mashing “a well-taken penalty kick” for his 10th goal of the season.

The Turks responded with the equalizer early in the second half, stretching the lead back out to 4-1, before Derek Leyva stormed the net, rattling home a pair of scores to make things tight.

The back-to-back goals givesĀ Derek Leyva 11 on the season, and 35 for his CHS career, pulling him closer to cousin Abraham Leyva’s school career record of 45 goals.

With the clock ticking down, the Wolves pushed the attack, desperate to knot things back up and force overtime, but it wasn’t to be.

“Unfortunately there seems to be a Sultan curse on me,” Nelson said. “We had a few other great attempts at goals in the closing minutes to make for an exciting game, but ultimately we paid for our slow start.”

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