The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale boys close out season with Gorge 5v5 Soccer League championship


Photo Courtesy Mike DeMott

The Goldendale boys take a team pic after capturing first place in the Gorge 5v5 Soccer League with a 12-4 win over Trout Lake on May 27 in The Dalles.

With the initial season of the Gorge 5v5 Soccer League in the books, ending May 27 where the boys team cruised to a 12-4 win over Trout Lake in the championship game, boys and girls coach Mike DeMott wasn't quite ready for the season to be over.

"I was kind of bummed it was the last game," DeMott said.

Competing for the first year in the spring league with other teams from around the Gorge, the spring season went a lot better than DeMott initially thought it would. Not all because the boys ended the season as the top team after the big win over Trout Lake in the final two weekends ago, but also because he got a firsthand look at how much both the boys and girls improved their skills from the first game on April 8 to the season final just 10 days ago.

Starting with a much bigger turnout then he envisioned, 22 high school aged players, DeMott was able to create a separate boys and girls team. Looking back to the beginning of the season, he likened the players' skill level to a five out of 10. But after the season of improvements, he said he would rate the group as an eight out of 10.

"The girls really started to click towards the end," DeMott said. "They learned a lot more about ball movement and going after the ball and being offensive.

"And they got some success," he added. "That was something that a lot of them hadn't felt. They hadn't felt what it was like to win."

The girls finished the season in third place in the league, while the boys met up with Trout Lake on May 27 for the championship game. In the team's first meeting, Trout Lake hung on for 5-4 win over the Goldendale boys on April 15. But the second time around, it was all Goldendale. They went ahead big and didn't let up, winning 12-4 and playing one of their most complete games of the season.

"The boys, I was really proud of them at the end," DeMott said. "They went after it."

There were a couple games throughout the season, DeMott said, where the boys didn't play up to their potential and played on their heels a bit. However, they put it all together for the last few games, capped by the big win in the championship game.

"For us to win by eight (in the title game), that was a big turnaround," DeMott said. "(The boys) did that. They were aggressive and moved the ball and ran some plays they developed and it paid off.

"They were really excited and smiling," he added. "That was the most excited I've seen them in a long time."

Up five goals at halftime, DeMott and the rest of the team knew how quick the momentum in these games can change. They didn't let up in the second half though, playing strong like they have and cruised to the win.

"They just came together as a team. That was one of the other big things," DeMott said. "They were a team out there. They were moving the ball. They weren't selfish. They were talking. A lot of communication on the field.

"They didn't get comfortable. Ever. And I liked that," he added.

Photo Courtesy Mike DeMott

Justin DeMott, right, looks to stop a Trout Lake attack during the title game of the Gorge 5v5 Soccer League on May 27 in The Dalles.

Now, with the season in the rearview mirror, DeMott and others are looking ahead for more opportunities to play and continue growing.

Returning to the Gorge 5v5 League next year and further down the road is something that DeMott is interested in. He also had teams compete in last winter's Gorge Futsal League and would love to have two or three teams compete again in the coming years.

Futsal is a quicker paced game where players work on speed of play and technical skills. The games are played in a gym which makes for a short and quick 'field' and consist of five person teams counting the goalie.

"We need to keep doing (Futsal)," DeMott said. "We need to keep doing the spring league that we just did."


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