Things are looking up for Gladstone guys
Coach Lewis says his Gladiators will put some balls in the net this season
Gladstone High School boys soccer coach Tyler Lewis expects his Gladiators to be back in the mix in the Tri-Valley Conference state playoff chase this fall.
I think were going to be much better, he said. Were older, stronger, faster and more experienced than last year. And I think that will translate into results....
I think well be fighting for third or fourth in our conference. We hope to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Well score more goals than we have in the last couple of years. Thats for sure.
Lewis Gladiators scored only 13 goals in 14 games last year, and they finished with an overall record of 3-10-1.
But Lewis has good reason to be optimistic. Eight players who have starting experience from last year return, and the Gladiators have added a talented player in freshman midfielder Jesse Pummel, a transfer from Oregon City.
Hes very good, said Lewis. Hell help us a lot. Hes very quick and hes got a lot of club experience.
Heading the list of players returning from last year are seniors Eder Zavala (forward) and Victor Ibarra (midfield), and sophomore Andrew Gross (defense). All three received conference all-star recognition last year, despite the Gladiators 1-8-1 record in conference. Gross has Olympic Development experience.
Also returning with starting experience are: seniors Riley Philo (defense) and Eveth Valenzuela (midfield), juniors Hector Orozco (forward) and Brandon Beckwith (forward), and sophomore Arturo Ibarra (midfield). Another returning player, senior defender David Ventura, played a lot last year, according to Lewis.
Junior Harrison Jarrett moves up from last years jayvee to play in-goal.
Lewis says that North Marion is the odds-on favorite to finish atop the TVC.
They finished third last year and they have most of their players returning, he said. On paper, theyve got to be the favorite.
Lewis added, Molalla went undefeated in league last year, so they should be good. But they lost their coach and a herd of starting players. And La Salle will be right up there. In my 17 years, theres only been one year that they havent made the playoffs.
La Salle finished second in the state last year, while Molalla lost in the quarterfinals.
I think our league will continue as one of the stronger leagues in the state, Lewis said. In eight of the last nine years someone from our league has been in the state final.