St. Helens boys soccer kicking off new season
Boys soccer has kicked off in Oregon, and at St. Helens High School, coach Clark Lawrence is expecting some tough competition this season.
Right now, the boys team has played one full game, losing at home to Hood River Valley, 4-1.
After a COVID-shortened season last time around, Lawrence is looking ahead.
"Last season, our numbers were quite low, with everything going on," he said. "We were a really young team last year, we had only one upperclassman. We played down at the JV level."
This year is a different story for the Lions.
"Our numbers are quite healthy," Lawrence said.
Three returning seniors will be on the soccer side this season, in addition to four exchange students. The exchange students are from Czechia, Italy, Norway and Spain.
Lawrence pointed out a few standouts on his soccer team this season.
"Our returning captain from last year is Trevor McFarland," Lawrence said. "Trevor has played more of a defensive role for us, (but) he actually led us in scoring. He's the guy who sets the tone a lot of the time, both on the defensive end and offensive end."
James Olson will be leading the back line for most of the season.
"He's got a good skillset," Lawrence said. "He's got a good physique for it."
Andrew Worlitz and Logan Weber will rotate at goalkeeper.
Describing Worlitz, Lawrence said, "He's very good at communicating while he's actually outside the goal. He'll play pretty much wherever I need him to."
Weber, according to Lawrence, "picked up a lot from Andrew. He is a good shot-stopper for being as inexperienced as he is. He will only grow as he learns the position a bit more."
Competition will be tough this season with the usual strong teams.
"We play in a league where the top three teams (LaSalle, Wilsonville and Hillsboro) compete for the state title every year," Lawrence said. "It's a tough league. Last year, we took a few on the nose."
This year, the St. Helens boys soccer squad is ready to compete — hopefully in a more normal environment, considering COVID-19 cases are still close to an all-time high in Oregon.
"They are excited, especially with some of their friends coming back," Lawrence said of his student athletes. "We have a little bit more time to get a pre-season and get some training in before we get started. They're excited and working hard. They're ready to go."
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