Posts Tagged ‘Derek Leyva’

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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   After a loss to Vashon Tuesday, Coupeville High School soccer coach Kyle Nelson and his players have their backs to the wall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Time to dig deep and find a miracle.

After absorbing an 8-4 loss to Vashon Island Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad finds itself in a tough spot.

The district playoff loss, which came on a neutral field at Mt. Tahoma High School, drops the Wolves to 7-8-2.

It also drops them into a loser-out game Thursday, one which presents a daunting task.

CHS has to travel 96 miles (one-way) to Orting High School, doesn’t play until 8 PM and faces Klahowya, a team the Wolf booters have never beaten in 10 previous games.

The Eagles are in the loser-out game because they were nipped Tuesday in a penalty kick shootout after ending regulation and overtime tied 3-3 with Charles Wright Academy.

Vashon and CWA play in the front-end of a doubleheader at Orting Thursday, with the winner advancing to state.

The loser of that game returns to Orting Saturday to face the survivor of the Thursday late game in a battle for District 3’s second slot to state.

For it to be Coupeville, the Wolves will have to do something no 1A Olympic League team has done in four years, upend Klahowya, which is 13-4-1 this year.

KSS has outscored CHS 47-5 over their 10 meetings, though the Wolves played the Eagles almost to a standstill in a 3-2 loss this season.

The Wolves fell behind early against Vashon, surrendering a pair of goals in the early moments of the game and trailing 6-1 at the half.

Sophomore Aram Leyva got Coupeville on the board with his 13th goal of the season, off an assist from William Nelson, and the Wolves were much sharper offensively after the break.

“We had a good halftime talk and came to life in the second half,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson.

CHS “won” that 40-minute span 3-2, with Derek Leyva adding to his Wolf boys single-season scoring record.

He punched in a hat trick in one half, with his three goals lifting him to 24 on the year. That leaves him just shy of the school record of 27, set by Mia Littlejohn.


UPDATE: Game moved from 8 PM at Orting High School to 5 PM at Silverdale Stadium. Moves saves Coupeville 86 miles of round-trip bus travel.

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   James Wood uses his noggin to redirect the ball during a “friendly” between Coupeville and Oak Harbor’s soccer squads. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf bench sizzles in the afternoon sun.

Speedy Coupeville track star Mallory Kortuem, momentarily at rest.

“They said it was a friendly…”

Josh Robinson stalks the pitch, a man on a mission.

   Derek Leyva, having broken the CHS boys soccer single-season scoring record in his last game, takes a moment to dance with the ball.

   Wolf soccer captains Sage Renninger (left) and Lauren Bayne came out to support their male counterparts.

Hunter Downes slices ‘n dices his way through the Wildcats.

From nothing, something.

Coupeville and Oak Harbor threw together a JV soccer game at the last second, partially as a way for the Wolves to get a feel for playing on turf prior to kicking off the playoffs.

With CHS only having a handful of true second-team players, the Wolves tossed in a mix of varsity players for Wednesday’s “friendly,” and no stats were kept.

That didn’t keep ever-wandering photo whiz kid John Fisken from sliding by the pitch to fire off a few hundred shots, however, and a collection of his work can be seen above.

To see all his action pix from the afternoon, pop over to:


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   Aram Leyva scored twice Tuesday as Coupeville soccer drilled Port Townsend 3-1, all but clinching a playoff berth for the Wolves. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Channeling Obi-Wan in Star Wars, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team showed remarkable resiliency Tuesday, and the rewards will be huge.

Four days after absorbing a rough loss at Port Townsend, the Wolf booters rebounded to drill the visiting RedHawks 3-1 Tuesday, capturing their biggest win in the four-year history of the 1A Olympic League.

The victory, which snapped a five-game winless streak, lifts CHS to 4-3 in conference action, 5-6-2 overall.

It also gives the Wolves two wins in three games against Port Townsend this season, and all but clinches second-place in the Olympic League, and the playoff berth that comes with that finish.

After three teams made the postseason annually between 2015-2017, this year only two squads will make the cut, and it would take an epic collapse for Coupeville to not join league champ Klahowya.

Port Townsend (3-4, 3-8) and the Wolves both finish with games against Klahowya (6-0, 9-2-1) and Chimacum (0-6, 0-10).

One CHS win or one PT loss clinches second-place for the Wolves, who finished third in each of the previous three seasons.

It would take two Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea-style miracles for the RedHawks to slide past Coupeville and make the postseason.

First, Chimacum, which has been outscored 101-2 this season (not a typo) would have to beat the Wolves.

Then, Port Townsend would have to break Klahowya’s perfect 27-0 run in Olympic League games.

If BOTH those things happen Friday, I’ll retire on the spot.

So, while the Wolves can’t fully celebrate yet, they took care of most of the dirty work Tuesday, controlling the game from start to finish.

The first half was a scoreless battle for 39+ minutes, with CHS defenders Uriah Kastner and Hunter Downes coming up huge, scrambling to snuff out RedHawk opportunities with quick feet work (and the occasional hip check into the stands).

Coupeville actually had more chances to score, but was thwarted repeatedly by a ref who knew one call – “off-sides” – and used it frequently.

His calls erased one Wolf goal, when Aram Leyva beat the Port Townsend goalie high only to have the score waved off.

Aram’s cousin, laser-shot-firing Derek Leyva, made up for it, though, rifling home the game’s first score late in stoppage time.

After muscling his way through two defenders, the slender assassin rattled the ball home, netting his 21st goal of the season.

That broke the CHS boys single-season scoring mark set in 2016 by Derek’s other cousin, Abraham Leyva, and leaves him just shy of Mia Littlejohn’s school record of 27 goals in one campaign.

Having broken the record, Derek Leyva turned into an assist machine in the second half, setting Aram Leyva up twice.

The first score came on a throw-in by Sam Wynn that Derek corraled, then skipped across the field right onto Aram’s toe.

One quick swing of his powerful leg later, it was 2-0 Wolves and the game looked to be in the bag.

But Port Townsend was plucky, and finally broke through with a little over 14 minutes left in the game.

A ferocious scrum broke out in front of the net, and, in the melee, a RedHawk managed to poke the ball past an otherwise-occupied Wolf goalie Dewitt Cole.

With the lead cut to 2-1, Cole and his defensive crew went into lock-down mode.

Axel Partida, Teo Keilwitz and Co. were impenetrable the rest of the game, blunting Port Townsend’s best efforts, while Cole made a couple of nimble late saves.

Just to make sure things would stay the way they were supposed to, the Leyva boys broke out another beauty with 10 minutes to play.

Derek crushed another crossing pass, though this time Aram came cartwheeling in, using his head to bank the ball past the flailing RedHawk net-minder.

With two scores on the afternoon, Aram ran his season total to nine goals, as the cousins have combined for 30 of the team’s 47 goals.

That leaves Coupeville just one score shy of the 2016 team, which scored 48 times, the most by any Wolf boys team in the last decade.

While he’s not looking past Chimacum, no matter what their troubles might be, Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson was quite happy to marinate (for a moment, at least) in finally exorcising the RedHawks.

The Wolves came up empty all seven times they played Port Townsend between 2015-2017 before taking two of three this time around.

“That’s huge. Nice to finally turn it around and take down our nemesis,” he said. “The games have been close with them, always, but today we brought the energy we didn’t have for some reason Friday.

“We talked about that before the game,” Nelson added. “And they really responded!”

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   Axel Partida and Coupeville soccer came dangerously close Monday to shattering Klahowya’s four-year unbeaten streak in 1A Olympic League play. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Admit it, few saw this coming.

Playing on the road Monday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team came within a deflected ball here or there of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in 1A Olympic League history.

Getting a pair of goals from sophomore Derek Leyva, the Wolves pushed Klahowya to the very end in a 3-2 thriller, narrowly missing a chance to shatter the Eagles four-year unbeaten streak in conference action.

With the escape, KSS (5-0 in league, 8-2-1 overall) cements its lead in the standings, going two games up on Coupeville (3-2, 4-5-2) with four to play.

The two schools play again in two weeks, when the Eagles visit Whidbey for the regular-season finale.

That Apr. 30 game will be Senior Night for the Wolves.

Between now and then, the CHS boys, who have never finished higher than third in the Olympic League, will play Port Townsend (1-3) twice and Chimacum (0-4) once.

If they replicate Monday’s effort, the Wolves will massacre the RedHawks and Cowboys.

With his two goals, Derek Leyva pushed his season total to 18, pulling him within two of cousin Abraham Leyva’s single-season Wolf boys mark of 20 scores.

He scored in each half, twice knotting the game up.

Klahowya could never get its lead above one goal, but did manage to slip in a final score late in the game to avoid overtime.

Wolf senior defender Hunter Downes praised his teammates across the board for their play.

“(Goalie) Dewitt (Cole) had a pretty nice game with some good saves, Derek did his usual thing, Will (Nelson) had a good game,” Downes said. “Basically, everyone played well.”

Hitting the back of the net twice against the Eagles is a major step for CHS, as the Wolves had only scored twice in eight previous games against Klahowya.

Coupeville had been shut-out six times, including a 5-0 loss earlier this season, and entered Monday having been outscored 38-2 all-time by KSS.

Klahowya had only surrendered six goals in 10 games this season, with six shutouts.

The Wolves join soccer powers Kingston and University Prep as the only teams to notch two goals this year against the Eagles.

Also, Monday’s game was the first time a 1A Olympic League rival came within a single goal of Klahowya.

The Eagles, who’ve been to state two of the past three years, carried in a 25-0 record in conference games.

KSS had gone 6-0, 6-0 and 9-0 in the first three seasons (2015-2017) of the league, before running off four straight shutout wins this seasons.

In those 25 games Klahowya outscored its three “rivals” 136-8, with only three games being decided by as few as two goals.

Coupeville had never come closer than three scores in any previous match-up with the Eagles.

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