PHS boys soccer: Luke Haslam

Philomath's Luke Haslam, seen here against Elmira, apparently has quite a talent for accuracy on the soccer field.

Hey Warriors fans, today is Monday, Sept. 2.

As the ball came off Luke Haslam’s foot in a jamboree appearance against Elmira Thursday afternoon, I watched half-stunned that it sailed beyond the goalkeeper’s hands and into the net. It came on a free kick and although I didn’t write it down in my notes, I’m guessing he made the goal from at least 25 to 30 yards out.

Coach David Ellis said in an interview afterward: “That free kick was phenomenal.”

But despite that praise, Ellis said it’s actually common for Haslam to make those kinds of kicks.

“He can do that almost every time,” Ellis said. “He does that in practice all the time so we’ll be looking for more of those from him.”

No pressure, Luke.

Beyond the free kick, Ellis had some interesting things to say about his program as we get into Year 2.

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“It’s hard for me to be overly optimistic about things ... I think this group I’m going to enjoy coaching more," he said. "They’re going to play a much better brand of soccer than we did last year. We are better, smarter, more capable at every position than we were last year.”

As senior Ben Reams had shared with me earlier in the afternoon while we chatted for a few minutes, the players feel a bit more in tune with their head coach in this second year with him. Ellis feels more of a comfort level with his athletes.

“Part of it is they’ve had a full year with me,” Ellis said. “We were just talking in doubles, we felt like we were light years ahead of where we were last year. I haven’t had to start from ground zero with how I play things. They’ve all come through a year with me and being able to build onto things we were already doing last year.”

The boys open the season Thursday at Hidden Valley before hosting a Saturday game against Gladstone. The Warriors will then host Stayton on Tuesday early next week in the Oregon West opener.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the next game.

— Brad Fuqua, Philomath Express

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