The Vashon High School Pirates boys soccer team is on track to try and defend their 2019 State Championship.
The season was completely canceled in 2020, and last year, the team was truncated a bit by COVID, again going as far as they could to earn the District Championship title.
This year, the Pirates (4-1-1) remain unbeaten in their league play after beating Annie Wright (4-1 ) on Monday night. The Vashon Squad is again led by Scott Nicolino, in his second year as Pirate head coach.
“We have a really nice group of kids this year with tons of positional versatility,” said Nicolino. “Plus, we’ve added a couple of new tactical soccer minds to the mix too. John Thomas and Paul Beytebiere have been fantastic additions to our coaching staff this season.”
The Pirates’ defense is anchored by one of the captains, senior goalkeeper Evan Keppler, who has only let in two goals in the past four games.
“It’s great to have coach Beytebiere working with the keepers this season, and it doesn’t hurt that he bakes us all bagels if we get a clean sheet,” said Keppler.
This year, the pirates have an experienced back four, including seniors Levi Stahl and Teo Eckhardt, along with junior Oliver Churchill and sophomore Orion Knowler. Stahl (also a captain) leads the defensive formation as the on-field tactician.
“We’ve all played together for years, so I really trust all of these guys,” said Stahl. “It’s going to take a good team to score on us when we’re all out there performing at our best.”
The Vashon midfield is deep with many extraordinary players. The rock in the middle is senior Jaime Pereyda, whose defensive and distribution skills are quite impressive. Juniors Isaac Harrison, Moses Trundle-Strachan and Nick Zuckerman add pace, skill, and fitness in the center. Sophomore Ellis Cudaback has also been making strong inroads on the starting lineup. All have been having an excellent season.
“We expect to do well in districts, and hopefully again in state this year, too,” said Trundle-Strachan.
The Pirate attack is led by senior captain Bellamy Cox-Sitkiewicz, junior Italian exchange student Enrico Trevisan, junior Evan Serebryakov and freshman Rowan Marceau-Roache.
“Our attack is just coming into focus,” said Nicolino. “All of our forwards have played on different teams and clubs, but we have some real talent with these guys. Right now, we’re working on our timing so they know what each other are thinking as our play develops in the attacking third.”
The Pirates have scored 14 goals in the past 3 games.
“Enrico has been a great addition to our squad and the ‘Italian Stallion’ scored such a sick goal against Cascade Christian — it’s the goal of the season so far,” said Cox-Sitkiewicz.
This chemistry doesn’t happen by accident.
In addition to two years with Nicolino, the majority of this team has played together under the direction of Sergei Serebryakov and Sheriff Grey of the BVB academy here on Vashon.
Other players have benefited from the coaching of the development director of Vashon Island Soccer Club, Shanti Escovedo. Having a community of good youth coaches and our new turf field has really benefited these kids immensely.
This is a soccer team that we can all take pride in here on Vashon.
The Pirates play again at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at VHS stadium, against the Nisqually league’s second-place team, Life Christian. We look forward to seeing everyone out at the game at VHS stadium. The game schedule can be found at govashonpirates.com.