The story of athletics on Lopez Island is usually one of the underdogs going up against much bigger and better funded schools. Our home teams have certainly had to learn the character building-lesson of playing with heart and dignity against overwhelming odds. So it is with great pride that I share some of the successes of this year’s high school soccer season.
The Lobo defense was awesome. They played a smart and physical game that consistently frustrated opponents. In my opinion, Jordan Haber was the most valuable player on the team. He played every game of the season in its entirety as center fullback and earned honorable mention in the leagues coach’s awards. Also receiving honorable mention was team captain Sebastian Lasbo who, with his cheetah-like speed and spirited leadership, was able to contribute in many ways to the team. The only other senior on the team was David Hellman who stepped up his game dramatically as the season progressed. The rest of the Lobo backfield starters were all freshmen who put it all on the line every time they stepped on the field. Matthew Haber and Nate Drahn represented. Arlen Coily played the all important goalie position with both physical and mental toughness.
The crucial position of center mid-field was held by Tahoma Wrubleski. He was recognized for his skillful play by being selected for the league all-star team. Emmett Lawrence dug deep for his team despite playing with injuries. William Carson was also having a strong season until he broke his arm mid season.
The leading goal scorer on the team was Charlie O’Neil (13) followed closely by Sam Ferguson.
The team depended on their dedicated women athletes, and without them there would have been games where we would not have been able to field eleven players. The Lobos fielded more women players than all the other teams in the league combined. Lyra Dalton and Brooke Schober, in particular, gave stirring performances and showed that they can play tough in a men’s league where women are “allowed” to participate. Jamie Cummins, Moria Crawford, Madeline Rain and Hannah Hobi all filled key roles and were the embodiment of team players.
It was no surprise to me that the Lobos were honored with the League sportsmanship award. From were I stood it would have been a travesty if any other team was even considered, with the exception of the Orcas Vikings. They also played a very clean and classy style of game that reflects positively on their coaches and community.
The biggest honor that the Lopez Lobos received however, is the Washington State Academic Achievement Award. The team as a whole earned the highest cumulative GPA average in the state, over 3.6. Go Lobos!
The strength of the Lobo Soccer team does not lie in any individual superstar but rather in their inclusiveness and team spirit. These kinds of skills can only be fostered by a long term commitment from parents, teachers, mentors, and community volunteers.
I directly trace the successes of this soccer team back to the groundwork laid in their early educations. As budgets tighten and school programs are cut, it is going to be increasingly important for volunteers to step forward to organize activities for our youth.