Neeké soccer team places first in tourney

The U-9 boys team; from left: Coach Terry Swanson, Coel Cable, Joshua Adams, Thomas Swanson, Stephen Lutsock, Arthur Condor and Davin Kesler. - Melissa Ziss
The U-9 boys team; from left: Coach Terry Swanson, Coel Cable, Joshua Adams, Thomas Swanson, Stephen Lutsock, Arthur Condor and Davin Kesler.
— image credit: Melissa Ziss

The South Whidbey Neeké Girls Select soccer team took first place in the U-15 division at the RockOn 3v3 Tournament in Oak Harbor on Memorial Day weekend. Winning all five of their games, the Neeké outscored their opponents 39-7. The six-player squad was comprised of Laura Barrow, Shannon Craig, Julia Iversen, Anna Lennon, Laurie Robinson and Marie Shimada.

The SW Neeké is a girls U-15 select soccer team playing in its second year. Head coach is Nikki Gamble a former University of Washington women’s soccer team player and captain and a former Seattle Sounders player. Gamble also coached at youth soccer camps put on by the Huskies and Seattle Sounders, and she coached a boys U-11 team in Seattle to a first-place title.

South Whidbey was represented by four girls teams and one boys team at the 56-team event.

The second annual RockOn 3v3 Tournament was a tune up for the upcoming summer soccer season, as well as the regular fall league season.

The boys squad led by Terry Swanson took second place in the U-10 division. The 8- and 9-year-olds played up one age division against players one to two years older. The boys team players included Joshua Adams, Coel Cable, Arthur Condor, Davin Kesler, Stephen Lutsock II and Thomas Swanson.

The U-12 girls sent three teams to the tournament and lost a close game in the semi-final round. The girls squads were co-coached by Terry Swanson, Sonya and Gary Peterson. Team players included Elisabeth Adams, Amy Arand, Linden Firethorn, Lindsey Grimm, Brianna Haimes, Sommer Harris, Claire Hofius, Talon Jorgenson, Amanda Lutsock, Justina Mackie, Marianna Murphy, Makenzie Peterson, Molly Rawls, Grace Swanson, Lela Thomas Pigott and Lacy Williams.

The tournament was a great learning experience for all the teams involved, as none of the squads had ever played in a three-vs.-three format prior to this past weekend. The South Whidbey community can be very proud of its South Whidbey Youth Soccer Club, which has been very successful over the years developing young soccer players, but more importantly, providing an opportunity for young children of all age groups and experiences to participate in the world’s most popular sport.

The South Whidbey Neeké Girls Select team currently has openings for three new players. Home games are at the soccer complex on Langley Road. Interested girls must be under 15 as of Aug. 1. For more info, please contact Paul Shimada at 321-4282.

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