By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.—The Bill Belichick-isc genius that is Stayton High School Boys Head Coach Chris Shields found a way to get his troops going for the second half of Thursday’s afternoon matchup with Cascade in their 5-1 victory over the Cougars.
Up 1-nil after a relatively physical first half, Shields reminded his team of the high expectations he has for his team as they missed a few opportunities to set the pace just a bit further than they did in the opening half of the game.
“I get frustrated with this group of young players, it’s kind of when I teach, it’s no different when I’m a High School teacher, I have expectations and there here,” started Shields as he illustrates how high his expectations are with his hand. “And when guys not perform to those expectations, I’m going to remind them that there’s a level here that we have to reach.
“Alex Cramer at any point, especially in the first half could’ve done exactly what he did in the second half. Gone down, beat two guys and they left him open over and over . He was eating that line up. David Gomez, and Courage (Minten), David Ramirez and all those guys, they could’ve at any point broken this game open really early and made it really one-sided. We waited until the second half to do that.”
Shield goes on that against some teams, they won’t be able to have as many opportunities as they did against Cascade to score and that they need to finish and capitalize when the opportunity presents itself to them in the future.
After hearing from their coach, the Eagles soared to the challenge that their coach presented to them. Jose ‘Chivo’ Gomez gets a goal, so did David Gomez.
When Cramer hit Stayton’s fourth and fifth goals, the Eagles led 5-0 barely 20 minutes into the second half. Four goals in 18 minutes by the Stayton offense.
But it seems like the theme of the year according to Cramer.
“It just seems to be the theme this year,” said Cramer. “We’ll do something and we’ll get ahead by one or tie in the first half, Shields would talk to us. He coach(es) us, tells us something to do, correct it and go out and four or five and get it done. It’s annoying at the same time because ‘why can’t we do it from the beginning’ but it’s fine, it’s working out so far.”
The Cougs broke the shutout in the 74th minute, it was Stayton’s fourth goal of the season and tied with Brookings-Harbor with the second to fewest goals allowed this season (Mazama allowed just one goal to this point to best the 4A in Boys Soccer).
On top of that, the Eagles end the first week of Oregon West Conference play 2-0 in league and 5-0-1 overall.
There’s excitement to start league off strong and the season the same way, but they have to focus to the harder task ahead with North Marion coming in Tuesday afternoon in Stayton.
“It’s kind of getting the excitement again that first game, like ‘how are we going to do?’,” “Like I had a pretty good idea we’re going to be alright, but it’s nice and excited but at the same time it’s like, ‘you got to get it done’ you can’t think this is too easy because the big wins at the beginning.
“So we can’t get too overconfident espically looking at how North Marion was and how skilled there probably are. It’s not going to be easy so we just got to keep our hardest.”
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PHOTOS BY JEREMY MCDONALD