By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Injuries unrailed a promising Chemeketa Community College Women’s Soccer team last Fall as the Storm finished 2-10-2 overall and tied for sixth in the NWAC South Region at 2-8-2 under first-year Head Coach Steve Elmore.
But entering the first week of practice next week, the Storm are looking to their 11 returning players like a Carla Zamora (Woodburn) and a Alyssa Hoffman (Lebanon) to mix in with the new faces like a Myranda Marquez (Woodburn), Dominique Huapeo (North Marion) and Abril Dimas-Camacho (South Salem) going into Fall Camp.
For Elmore, he’s been pushing the idea of family with his squad going into his second year. Elmore, who’s helped coach at Western Christian and helped out with McNary prior to coming to the Junior College-level, has been recruiting locally to give an outlet for the local talent from around the area.
“We’re excited for this year. This year we’re bringing in some skill players from our local communities and it’s been beneficial for us reaching out to the local High School coaches who have been really receptive to our recruiting and we’re excited for the skilled players that we’ve brought to the team this year,” Elmore said. “Last year building on the program, changing the culture and just being hit with the unexpected injuries. We lost quite a few players throughout the year, some of them season injury for the year. We took a hit but our ladies have made it really competitive and they’re really high spirited and they set a lot of our team and our program.”
Tuesday afternoon optional workout was a good way for them to build some team chemistry amongst each other. Several of them have some past history playing with each other, which could help aid them this next season.
“A lot of the girls here I’ve already played with since I’ve been small like Katie, Carla, Lilly, Alyssa, Minga (Huapeo), Abril, I’ve played with them since I’ve been like six,” said Marquez. “So it’s nice getting to reunite with them.”
“I’m really excited because I’ve played with a lot of these girls before. There is a lot of skill with the freshman and the returning players, we’re just as good as them, so I’m definitely excited and I think we’re going to have a really good season,” adds Huapeo. “Coming from (North Marion) helped, it’s something that we can do and the same thing Woodburn did in coming together and trying to do something here, we should be able to do.”
For both Huapeo and Marquez, they both came from programs with the Bulldogs and Huskies in helping building those programs into playoff caliber squads at the prep level as both enter this chapter of their playing careers. The Storm opens up the season August 9 at Blue Mountain for an exhibition before kicking off the season August 10 at Walla Walla.
Chemeketa Community College’s first home game will be September 24 against Lane Community College.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald