A pair of league champions were crowned in soccer on Saturday, although neither comes as much of a surprise.
In girls’ action, Eureka made certain of retaining their league title with an emphatic 16-0 win over Ferndale, improving to 12-0 with two games remaining.
While on the boys’ side, Fortuna secured at least a share of a sixth consecutive championship by beating McKinleyville 5-1 and also improving to 12-0 in league.
Neither championship comes as much of a surprise considering how dominant each team has been this season, although a young Huskies side came together a little quicker than expected.
“Oh yeah, to be right where we are right now, I was definitely surprised,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes said. “They’re coming together. They’re gelling. But we still have work to do.”
Fernando Atilano scored a hat trick in Saturday’s win, including a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper on one of his goals.
His brother Luis Atilano also netted in the win, as did freshman Omar Alvarado.
Luis Atilahno was one of four seniors honored on senior day, along with the ever-reliable Jackson Fairbanks, his central defensive partner Kevin Noel and Aaron Mignon.
“I definitely want to thank the seniors for what they’ve given to our program,” Holmes said. “They all bought into what I was trying to do, and they’ve all been good role models.”
The Fortuna coach also paid tribute to the Panthers.
“McKinleyville played with a lot of heart,” he said.
In other boys action on Saturday, Del Norte scored four goals in the second half on the way to a 5-1 win over South Fork.
With the win, the Warriors improve to 9-1-2 in league play and remain mathematically alive for a share of the title if they can win their last two games and Fortuna loses its final two games.
The two teams meet in Crescent City in the league finale next weekend.
Eureka also defeated Ferndale 13-1 on Saturday.
Loggers win again
The Eureka girls, meanwhile, secured their second straight league title with Saturday’s big win.
Second-placed Fortuna also won on Saturday, defeating McKinleyville 4-2, but with two games remaining they can no longer catch the high-flying Loggers.
The senior co-captains led the way for Eureka, with Olivia Stone scoring four goals in the win, and Athena Miller three.
Klayre Barres and Liza Crassweller each scored twice, while Keylei Carroll, Kellina Pratton, Aquena Tolfeson and Sadie Wilkinson each scored once.
In other girls games on Saturday, Arcata defeated St. Bernard’s 2-0, with goals from Karina Zumbrun and Michaela Macdonald.
Zakiya Elloway-Wonenberg and Zumbrun each had an assist.
“We played well,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “It was a really good team win. Everybody got a chance to play, and everybody got a chance to contribute in some way. I was really happy with it.”
Arcata improved to 8-3-1 in league play, one win behind Fortuna at 9-2-1.