By Ray Hamill — They may have lost a couple of key players from last season’s history setting 19-0 team, but the Loggers return enough talent and experience in 2019 to ensure they’ll be the team to beat once again in the H-DNL.
In particular, the return of a trio of juniors will anchor this year’s team.
Keylei Carrol returns to lead the defense, while Klayre Barres and Aquene Tollefson will be a challenge for any opponent offensively, and all three are legitimate MVP candidates.
Also back to give new head coach Tommy Learmouth plenty of quality options throughout the lineup are forward Adriana Newland and center back Rebecca Russ.
Junior Brynn Hales will start in the middle of the field, while junior Liza Crassweller and senior Kalina Pratton will each see plenty of action on the wings.
Among the younger stars, big things are also expected out of sophomore Peyton Goodman in defense.
“I like that we’re coming together,” said the first-year head coach, who was an assistant with the program for the past four years under Andy Salatny. “We’re forming more of a family than a team. I love their work ethic. They come out every day and they want to play hard.”
Another returning player expected to play a big role in 2019 is wing back Angelina Westcott, the only four-year senior on the team, while Kyra Watkins and Marissa Hall both return to the team after not playing last year.
Watkins will play in goal, while Hall will slot in on the right side of defense and midfield.
“We look for big things out of them,” the head coach said.
Likewise with senior Madie Andersen, who will play a key role for the Loggers as the holding midfielder.
The new head coach added that fans can expect to see some different things this season from a new team in a new season.
“We’re going to look to try something new,” Learmouth said, describing it as a quick transition game. “To take advantage of the fields we play on and our players’ skill levels.”
The new coach is hoping these new wrinkles in the way the Loggers play will help better prepare his players for the collegiate level.
The Eureka girls were scheduled to play at the Eye of the Tiger tournament in Arcata this weekend, but the tournament has been canceled due to a lack of out-of-area teams.
The Loggers will now open the season in their first league game against McKinleyville on September 11.