The Marysville Getchell student body has not let their school spirit down during their first season competing in varsity sports, despite not seeing much success in terms of wins and losses. However, with the Chargers men's soccer team currently tied for second place in the Wesco 3A conference with a record of 6-3-1, Charger fans are having a hard time finding seating at the home games.
"We don't have very big stands at our field, so to see it packed with excited students and fans each game is really a fun feeling," said Coach Goeff Kittle.
The Chargers have some experienced varsity players who came over from Marysville-Pilchuck, including senior forward team captain Jesus Valenzuela, who scored a goal in the state playoffs for M-P as a sophomore two years ago. The Chargers also snagged head coach Kittle from M-P, who teaches at Getchell's School for the Entrepreneur (SFE). Kittle led the Tomahawks to their first league and district title in 2009, and the team went undefeated until the state semi-final game in an overtime shoot out loss.
The Chargers also have some experience in the junior class, with athletes who have played together both at M-P and in club soccer. The back line consists of four junior starters, which should make for another solid season next year.
Another major asset for the team is senior forward Javier Gomez Mora-Rey. An exchange student from Spain, Mora-Rey has helped the Chargers elevate their game and with 14 goals on the season, is the team's top scorer.
"Teams have figured out that the key to stopping our team is to stop Javier, at times triple teaming him every time he gets close to the goal," said Coach Kittle.
As the Chargers work through the second half of their schedule, the key will be to use the focus on Javier to open up opportunities for other scorers to find the back of the net.
"In our losses, Javier didn't score; in our wins, he scores two or three. To continue to be successful, we need not be so one-dimensional and take some pressure off of (Mora-Rey)," added Kittle.
The Chargers have five games remaining, and will need to place in the top six in to qualify for post-season play. They will face first place Shorewood on Monday, April 23, in Shoreline, and will take on the Lynnwood Royals, with whom they are tied for second, at Getchell on May 2.
One thing is certain: with a prideful fan base and a playoff-bound Chargers team, the games will be exciting and fun.