One senior and eight sophomores return from the 2018 Columbia High/Trout Lake girls soccer team that won its final four regular-season matches and hosted Elma for a Southwest District 1A tournament play-in match.
They provide new Bruins Coach Adriana Clayton and new assistant coach Cheri Hill an experienced group of varsity players they can blend with the unseasoned, untested talents of 13 first-year players, of which eight are freshmen.
Key returning players include senior midfielder Lillie Goodson, sophomore midfielder Wynsome Painter, sophomore midfielder/forward Madison Swanson, and sophomore Lilly Schmid, who can slot in at midfielder, defender, or goalkeeper.
Clayton said all of the first-year players “are showing potential and dedication. Freshman Piper Hicks is a player to look out for as she has shown strong skills and the ability to play multiple positions.”
The Bruins open the 2019 season this weekend with an overnight road trip to Forks for a Saturday, Sept. 14 non-league match. Their home opener against Irrigon, Ore., is set for Sept. 17. CHS commences Trico League play on Oct. 1 at King’s Way. All in all, the Bruins will play 15 regular-season matches with an eye toward again advancing to the post-season.
“I expect my team to challenge themselves everyday, display good sportsmanship and work ethic, and embrace all aspects of teamwork in order to become better players and individuals,” Clayton said. “The coaching staff is committed to leading by example while providing a positive learning environment and fostering love for the sport.”
Moreover, Clayton and Hill “are excited about our new endeavor,” Clayton said.
“Cheri and I have been board members and coaches for White Salmon Community Youth soccer for a few years. We see our new roles as an extension of the work we have done in the community.”
Clayton said she may be coaching varsity, but noted the White Salmon Valley School District’s soccer program includes Henkle Middle School’s girls team under coach Jill Chance and Athletic Director Howard Kreps.
“My goal as a coach is to increase participation by supporting the Community Youth and middle school programs to ultimately have enough players for a high school varsity and junior varsity team.”