Soccer welcomes veteran players and new faces

The 2021 soccer team will face opportunities and challenges this season.

”We will miss the group of seniors who graduated last year after creating a legacy of achieving excellence and striving for success at Orcas High School,” said coach Terry Turner. “In a year where bridging the transition from season to season will be our number one goal, I am pleased to report that we have a full lineup of returning players who have worked hard in the offseason, continue to improve as a result and who are showing the leadership and character to make this transition successful.”

For the second year in a row, the Vikings will return to a co-ed format that originally debuted in the early 2000s. Turner will be joined by assistant coach Sid Hayworth, former Orcas soccer star and semi-pro player.

“And our team and community are extremely fortunate to have the likes of professional trainers Baturay Balic (Orcas Island Futbol Club) and Chris Bullock (weights, strength and conditioning) working with our student-athletes in the off season,” Turner said. “All of the players who have participated in their programs have shown tremendous improvement and also a noticeable growth in character.”

Preseason training starts with two practices a day. The objective is to ensure that every player develops the agility, stamina and fundamental skill set necessary to compete at the high school varsity level.

There are a handful of new faces in this year’s lineup as well as returning players. Turner says Tommy Anderson-Cleveland, Cadence Kraayeveld, Diego Lago and Paxton White have stepped up as leaders.

Turner has been coaching soccer on Orcas since the early 1980s at various levels ranging from high school and middle school to youth recreational.

“We’ve had many successful seasons, including undefeated middle school teams in the late 80s and early 90s, the pioneering Orcas High School league champs of the 2000s and the undefeated league seasons and great runs at the state championships over the last several years,” he said. “What I am pleased most with over these years is the increasing understanding, appreciation and dedication to this sport that has grown and become especially evident over this time.”