Allowing their feet to do the talking


Lilah Carey

The girls’ soccer program is off and running. The varsity squad, led by coach JD Penilton, has started the season off 6-2-2, with an OSAA 6A ranking of 20.

They recently recorded back-to-back 5-0 wins against both Gresham and Lebanon, yet had a 0-3 loss to Lincoln in their league opener last Thursday.

Penilton says he feels really good about where the team is heading but wants to  keep the focus on each individual game as it comes up and keep play-offs as a distant goal. 

“I think at this moment our goal is to win as many games as we can and if that leads to a potential play-off position,” he explained. “I think that’s in our realm but we need to focus on the next game and the game after that and not get ahead of ourselves.”

Odessa Berry, forward and winger for varsity, said prospects are looking good with a new coach and an addition of talented freshmen. 

“They’ve helped the team a lot,” she said.

While the players need time to build up team chemistry and get to know each other better on the field and off, they’re starting the season off strong with 6 wins.

“I hope we can form a good bond, and also I hope that we can make it farther in the play-offs than we did last year,” Berry reflected.

Participation is high on the JV team, coached by Shelby Derocher, starting off the season with a full team of 26 players. 

Derocher says that it has been a challenge having to do frequent subbing when the team is starting to gain rhythm.

“We do a lot of subs and rotating, so when people start to find their groups on the field, I have to sub them off,” she said.

Nonetheless, there’s a lot of talent on the big team, which JV defender Thisbe Delamarter is hoping will get them further in the play-offs this year. 

“I feel like the team is doing really well, we’ve been winning a lot of games and the team is working really well together,” she said.

A particularly meaningful game, adds Delamarter, was the game against Newberg whose school has banned the promotion of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and pride flags in the classroom. 

While our team left with varsity tied and a loss for JV, they defended their beliefs while supporting our school values by wearing BLM warm-up jerseys.