When Christian Lewis decided to play soccer instead of baseball this spring at Peninsula High School, he quickly came to a realization: He would probably never play competitive baseball again.
"That’s the biggest thing I struggled with," said Lewis, a senior. "Baseball has always been a part of my life. It’s done now. It was hard to close the door."
One door is closed, but another is wide open. Lewis is leading the Peninsula soccer team with eight goals so far this season, and may be the much-needed piece the Seahawks were missing last season. Peninsula has been near perfect so far as of Tuesday, amassing a 10-1-0 overall record and a 8-1-0 record in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League.
Needless to say, Lewis is happy with his decision.
"I’m over the moon," he said. "You can’t really argue with (the hot start). When you’re playing like that as a team, I think it’s a beautiful thing. Coming into the season, I didn’t know what to expect. We’re just trying to ride it out as long as possible. We want to keep the wins going. Right now, everyone is out to get us."
Lewis decided he wasn’t going to play club baseball this year, which led to his decision to play soccer. Playing both sports growing up, Lewis couldn’t ignore his desire to give soccer a shot.
"I just wanted to have fun with it," Lewis said.
While this season’s squad looks like Peninsula’s best team in quite some time, Lewis said players don’t discuss the rankings or feel pressured by the sudden expectations.
"For our team, we’re going into every game thinking about this game only," Lewis said. "We don’t want to think anywhere too far ahead. We just take the games one at a time. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. That’s a tough thing. You don’t want to think of yourself as better than any team — it’s all about the day."
First-year coach Brad Scandrett has helped the team keep things in perspective, Lewis said.
"He brings a positivity to the team," Lewis said. "That’s where we get our one-game-at-a-time attitude. I think that’s important. He’ll get on us if we don’t do our work, but it’s all positive reinforcement. One of his biggest things is ‘One, not two.’ Make one mistake but don’t make another. Learn from it."
Scandrett has been thrilled with Lewis’ production, poise and maturity this season.
“He’s brought an additional scoring threat,” Scandrett said. “Not just additional — it’s been a guaranteed scoring threat. He’s brought speed up front, skill and a tenacity to put the ball in the back of the net. He wants the ball. He wants to score. He goes for it ... he goes after it.”
Lewis combines up top with senior Logan Marten and sophomore Mynor Martinez to form a potent attack. But the Seahawks’ defense has been a big part of the team’s success, too. In 11 games, Peninsula has only given up four goals. The Seahawks are outscoring opponents 27-4.
"We have a couple strong guys in the back, but more than anything, they’ve played together," Lewis said. "They have the chemistry. They’re not playing as individuals. They’re playing together as a unit. That’s what has made us so successful so far."
In his first season, Scandrett couldn’t ask for much more from his team.
“We’re playing our game,” Scandrett said. “They play well together, they like each other and they have fun. All of those things have helped us to play our game, which has led to a good start. It’s just a fun team.”
Lewis is also gearing up for the Class 3A state tennis tournament later this spring, with doubles partner Hayden Skidmore.
“We went to the tennis court yesterday,” Lewis said. “I’ve never really focused on one sport at a time. I’m just trying to keep playing as much as I can.”