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She receives top honor from girls soccer peers in Northwest Oregon Conference

PMG PHOTO: STEVE BRANDON - Summer Jark, who heads the Scappoose High girls soccer program, has been named the Northwest Oregon Conference Coach of the Year in the sport.Summer Jark says she knows who her peers were thinking of when they voted her the 2019 Northwest Oregon Conference girls soccer coach of the year.

She says she got the award "because our girls did such a good job."

Jark guided the Indians to second place in the league and to the No. 5 state ranking among Class 5A teams.

"I'm very thankful, but all the credit goes to the girls and their big accomplishment and for having such a good season, and to their club coaches," Jark said.

Wilsonville edged Scappoose 3-2 in their only matchup in 2019. The Wildcats finished 7-0 in league; the Indians went 6-1.

Jark said she voted for Wilsonville's Dwight Sheppick as coach of the year.

"He won, and they're a really good team," she said, and besides, "in our old (Cowapa) League, the award usually just went to the team that won."

Other NWOC coaches obviously felt differently about this season, though, and about the job Jark and the Indians did on and off the field.

Jark called it a special and rewarding season for a lot of reasons, again because of the players she had to work with.

"I'm super proud of these girls, and the chemistry was just the best," she said.

This was Jark's fourth year leading the Scappoose program. The Indians' season ended in the second round (quarterfinals), with a 2-0 loss at North Eugene in a game that was 0-0 at a first half in which Scappoose controlled most of the action.

"I really did not expect to lose," Jark said.

Jark, a Portland native, attended schools in the North Clackamas district and graduated from Clackamas High in 2005.

She was recruited to play soccer by a handful of colleges, and chose to go to Northern State University, an NCAA Division II school in Aberdeen, South Dakota, population about 26,000.

"I had a wonderful, amazing experience there," she said.

Her college coach encouraged her to coach high school soccer in the town, "and I absolutely loved it."

She also was teaching fifth grade when an opportunity arose to return to the Portland area and teach sixth grade at McBride Elementary in St. Helens. She and her husband, Brian, "decided we wanted to be closer to family."

By then, the couple was starting their own family, which now includes two young girls (the oldest is in kindergarten) and a young boy.

When Jark became preganant with their second child, they decided she would leave teaching and stay at home (they live in Columbia City, and Brian teaches physical education at McBride).

A year later, the Scappoose head coaching position came open.

"I really missed coaching," he said. "I wanted something to get me out of the house and fill my cup a little, since I wasn't teaching."

Jark, who was the Cowapa coach of the year in 2017, the final year of 4A play for Scappoose, is glad she took the Indians job.

"It's probably the best thing that has gone on the last four years," she said. "It's been such a bright thing, going out there every day and getting to work with these girls. They are amazing people."

Jark said her coaching style and philosophy is built on keping priorities in mind for her players.

"I always feel like they're in this order: their faith, their family, school and then soccer," she said. "Their faith and family are always so incredibly important, and then their academics and being a student.

"I'm just trying to create a place of positivity and respect. To me, everyone on the team is equal, including our manager and the players who don't play at all.

"It's totally a group effort, and there shouldn't be any egos. That's how we'll havew the best experience possible."

PMG PHOTO: STEVE BRANDON - Scappoose coach Summer Jark (hands on head) and the assistant coaches, including Bruno Zanotta (left), react as the Indians score the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Putnam.

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