In Brad Scandrett’s first two years as the coach of the Peninsula High School boys soccer team, he spoke about how young his team was. This year? He may finally have a somewhat veteran team.
Peninsula returns senior goal-scorer Mynor Martinez, one of the area’s most creative playmakers in senior midfielder Mason Haubrich, winger Luis Cornelio and junior forward Teyj Menon.
“It feels good,” Scandrett said. “The junior class is big and the senior class is a group of guys that have been playing for all four years. They’re solid guys, solid guys.”
Add in an exciting group of freshmen and Peninsula is feeling pretty good about itself this season.
“The team is looking great,” Martinez said.
Martinez, in a change of pace from the last seven years of his life, didn’t play club soccer in the past year, opting to work at a local restaurant instead. That meant Martinez came into the school’s season feeling a bit different than in years past.
“At first, I was out of shape,” he said. “Since then, I’ve been going to the YMCA, working out, getting my cardio in. I missed it. I love soccer.”
Peninsula’s success this season may hinge quite a bit on how Martinez plays. The senior has shown an ability to score some remarkable goals in his first three high school seasons. Now with experience on his side, he could be as dangerous a finisher as the Class 3A South Sound Conference will see in 2017.
I think we’re going to be quick, fast. We aren’t the biggest team so we’ll try to play with some finesse, work the ball. We have a lot of team speed.
Brad Scandrett, Peninsula coach
“With Mason, Luis and Menon, I’m just excited to watch them have a great senior year,” Scandrett said. “I think we’re going to be quick, fast. We aren’t the biggest team so we’ll try to play with some finesse, work the ball. We have a lot of team speed. We came to camp in pretty good shape, which is always nice. But there are a lot of unknowns so it’s hard to say. I have high expectations.”
One of those unknowns is a new league. Peninsula will a new slate of opponents this season, including crosstown rival Gig Harbor — twice.
Getting the rivalry back, that’ll probably be the most fun game for me. They’re a good team.
Mynor Martinez, Peninsula senior forward
“(The Gig Harbor game) is one of the games everyone is looking forward to,” Martinez said. “Getting the rivalry back, that’ll probably be the most fun game for me. They’re a good team.”
Peninsula was eliminated from the postseason last year after losing its second game in the district tournament to Central Kitsap. This year, the Seahawks want to keep taking the next step forward.
“We just want to keep improving on that, see if we can get into state,” Scandrett said. “It’s just important to me that the program keeps improving, that the boys continue to see themselves as a good program. The kids coming up behind them, I want them to have a desire to go to Peninsula and play soccer. But just getting past that second game, getting into state is my goal. Bonding as a team, becoming a solid group of friends that enjoy playing together, and we’ll see where we go.”
In his senior year, Martinez isn’t holding back.
“We’re going for everything,” he said. “I want to get as far as we can. That’s what I’m looking for from the team. We’ll be good this year.”