Besides reminding me that I should wear sunscreen or at least a cap, the first couple of hours of the soccer jamboree this afternoon were a lot of fun. Coincidentally, both Philomath teams in their first matches scored in the first minute.
First, the girls found the net probably only 10 seconds into their game against Elmira. Reya Fairbanks took a ball down the left side and crossed it to Carrie Lillis who promptly buried it for a 1-0 lead. Then in the boys game, Josiah Coleman scored about 30 seconds in for a 1-0 lead in another matchup against Elmira.
Strike fast and keep the opponent on its heels. Not a bad tactic.
While doing interviews with the coaches, it was nice to hear that we have 69 students out of the high school playing soccer. Out of those, 39 are boys, a much-larger number than we've seen in recent years.
"We have a big group of incoming freshmen and a big group of sophomores, so I suspect they'll have a great bench and he'll have difficulty getting everybody on the field like I used to in the olden days when you had 20 or 21 players," PHS coach Anton Grube said.
Grube was talking about the junior varsity team and its coach, Matt Konkler. The "olden days" he's referring to was when Grube coached the JV before becoming the head coach seven years ago.
"My biggest year, I think I had 24 (players) and I had a spreadsheet that I had to use to make sure I got everybody playing," Grube recalled. "Because you look down the bench and you can't remember who played and didn't."