By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.–When the whistle blew at the end of their game against Newberg October 28, the Stayton Middle School Boys Soccer team did something remarkably incredible.
Go undefeated. A perfect 16-0 during the 2015 season.
The team that consisted of 11 eighth-graders and 16 seventh-graders showed talent yes, but also showed leadership and character while understanding their role and improved everyday mentioned Vikings Athletic Director Matthew Olson.
“I’m excited and proud of the group that went 16-0 and undefeated this year,” he said. “However, I’m more proud of the leadership and high character that each individual player displayed on a daily basis.
“Each student-athlete understood their role on the team and did their best to improve on a daily basis. I think the same could be said for all of our student-athletes in every program in our school. We have great kids in our community and I’m extremely proud of all of them.”
As for head coach Josh Crain, he was just excited to give the kids the tools to make the run for the accomplishment.
“I am excited that I was able to give them a focus on the basics of the game, and put in some things I learned while playing at high levels that they may not get other places,” he said. “I urged them to work hard when they don’t have the ball to get into the right position. This is something that will carry them through the sport as far as they want to go.”
Crain looks at the accomplish as well as for the love of the game, but also too to walk away with life lessons that the Viking student-athletes can take with them wherever they may go next in their lives.
A lot of my players play soccer every waking moment, and that gives us a big advantage,” Crain started. “I pushed at the beginning of the season that I do not aim to make them winners of every game, but I want them to learn the most they can from every experience and improve themselves as best they can.
“Win or lose we will always try to work harder, and learn more than our opponent. This attitude I believe lead to us having a perfect season. Hopefully by getting an undefeated season we can have even more boys come out next year to help grow this program even more in skill and diversity.”
Now, as they finish up their celebration, the focus turns into next year.
What will they do for an encore. Will there be another pizza party? Will there be another celebration for another undefeated Stayton Middle School undefeated team?
“I believe we are in a position to be just as successful next season, as we are expecting to be able to have 2 teams!” said Crain. “This will help us develop the more experienced players at a faster pace, as well as help the less experienced players not feel defeated, or at a loss in the more difficult drills and concepts.
“I think this will be a great thing for all the guys as we move forward in growing our legacy into a force to be reckoned with for the State – from middle school on through high school – everyone will know that Stayton soccer will always be a challenge!”
As for the pizza party that was just mention, it was a working plan all season long.
“We were able to have a pizza party at the end of the season and have an awards ceremony,” said Crain. “This was something I had wanted to do for quite some time and I am glad it happened for these guys. They all had a blast, and I am excited that most of them were able to come.”
MEMBERS OF THE 16-0 2015 STAYTON MIDDLE SCHOOL VIKINGS BOYS SOCCER TEAM
JERSEY # NAME GRADE
1 Quincy White 8
2 Carlin Croff 8
3 Derek Berning 8
4 Colby Fredricks 7
5 Damon Clute 7
6 Eric Gomez 7
7 Keven Loera 8
8 Julian Flores 7
9 Chase Rogers-Emery 8
10 David Ramirez 8
11 Omar Renteria 7
12 Jackson Reynolds 7
13 Park Dirkx 7
14 Jose Curiel 7
15 Raymundo Esparza 8
16 Nolan Cramer 8
17 Damien Uribe 7
18 Elias Lopez 7
21 Sam Hernandez 8
22 Jimmy Moore 7
26 Izak Schmitthoeffer 7
27 Isaac Nieto 8
28 Caden Wood 8
29 Jair Navarro 7
30 Octavio Adame 7
Keeper Carlos Gomez 7
n/a Adrian Cruz 7
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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