by Ryan Wilson
OISD Athletic Director
Orcas Island High School’s boys soccer team started its fall season on Aug. 20, with two weeks of twice-daily practices. This highly rigorous preseason schedule is designed to challenge the players to improve physical fitness, build team unity, increase the players’ technical skills and begin to work on game tactics.
The Vikings have added six new incoming players to its roster.
“I am pleased that so many of our new and returning players have spent the summer season working on preparing for the upcoming season,” said head coach Terry Turner. “Several of the players attended soccer camps and academies, many trained in the local gym in the areas of strength and conditioning, and two have participated abroad with soccer programs in Sweden and Italy. It’s always a challenge to get game-fit in such a short time period, but overall I am very impressed with the team’s preparation. I also couldn’t be happier with my coaching staff.”
Former Orcas player Chase Drake has returned this season as assistant coach. Drake is currently studying physical training and coaching at Central Washington University. The Vikings have also added former professional soccer player and professional soccer trainer Baturay (Batu) Balic to the coaching staff.
“His great understanding of the game at its highest levels, and his ability to actually demonstrate skills has shown to be a great asset to our players’ development,” Turner said.
The Orcas players had great success last season, so the team is returning with high expectations for the coming season. But they know the season is long and must be played one game at a time.
“The team knows that at this point in the season, their greatest assets will be taking responsibility to prepare themselves mentally and physically, and building a strong, supportive team spirit,” Turner said.
One thing is for sure, the building Orcas fan base will enjoy some exceptionally exciting, skilled and competitive games at the home field this fall.