Two weeks ago, the Whittell boys soccer team didn’t look like it had enough players to field a team.
Now, the boys appear to be unstoppable.
The Warriors dominated a preseason Quincy tournament, going 5-0 and outscoring their opponents 21-1 this past weekend.
“I think this is just kind of the beginning of what could be a great year,” head coach Timothy Plummer said.
Team numbers can be challenging at a high school of 126 students, but the Warriors knew if they could get enough players they would have a strong soccer team. They already had the majority of their key pieces in place, and now with 15 players the Warriors are proving they will be a team to reckon with this fall.
The boys, who finished 14-8 last year, return two of their three first team All-League players from last year — midfielder Mark Waite and defender Spenser Buchholz.
Waite and Buchholz were both a big part of the Warriors’ 5-0 record this past weekend.
Waite, along with fellow returning All-League midfielder, Bryce Bronken, netted the majority of Whittell’s 21 goals. Bronken and Waite each posted seven goals apiece.
In Game 1, the boys beat Tulelake 5-0. Game 2, they took down Quincy 7-0. In Game 3, they edged Redding Christian 2-1 and ended with a 2-0 win over Truckee JV to enter the championship game seeded No. 1.
The midfield was even stronger with R.J. Rupp back on the field at center-mid. Rupp, who adds even more club skills to the field, was out last season with an injury.
In the backfield, Buchholz is the cornerstone of a defense that gave up one goal in five games this past weekend. Osvaldo Reyes Lucero was also a big part of that defensive effort, along with goalkeeper Aubrey Felton.
New sophomore player Chris Evans proved he may not be the tallest player on the team, but he makes up for it with hustle.
Evans notched two goals for the Warriors in a 5-0 championship win over Tulelake to end the tournament. The sophomore basically out-hustled all the players at the goal on a corner kick. He spun left and right around players and got a beat on the ball.
“He tried so hard and it paid off,” Plummer said. “He basically wanted it more than anyone else.”
UP NEXT: The Warriors hosted Squaw Valley Academy at home on Thursday. Check online or in Saturday’s edition for results. Both the boys and girls soccer teams will travel to West Wendover for their first league game on Friday, Sept. 13.