[Article by contributing sports writer Rhett Workman, owner of Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal.]
The past couple of weeks have been special in our community, as we all witnessed a tremendous run by Mount Si High School’s boys basketball team to the state high school basketball 4A title game in Tacoma. Well, the Wildcats may be able to provide a second dose of that this spring – this time on the soccer pitch.
There are very high expectations this season for Mount Si’s boys soccer team. The team made the state playoffs last season after surviving several loser-out games within the KingCo Tournament, and this spring the squad has added a major piece that a lot of people anticipate will perhaps get them over the top and help them win it all.
Senior forward Drew Harris has returned to the Wildcat program, being coached by the school’s Athletic Director Darren Brown, in his 15th season at the helm of Mount Si boys soccer. Harris played for Mount Si as a freshman, but for the past two seasons he has been part of the Seattle Sounders’ Academy program, and that program prohibited their players from playing high school soccer. However, this past offseason, the Sounders released Harris from the academy, clearing the way for him to re-join the Wildcats.
Harris joins a strong group of returning athletes, led by seniors Reed Paradissis, Mateo DiDomenico and Jared Davies. DiDomenico has signed to play college soccer at NCAA Division II Cal State East Bay down in the San Francisco area, while Paradissis has talked to another D-II, Concordia down in Portland. Several key underclassmen return, among them Sullivan Smith, Colby Ramsey and Banner Hovinga.
With the roster being loaded with key returners, that has made it difficult for new players to land spots on the squad, but one did, and he, too, has impressive credentials. Freshman Joey Salem will be the team’s lone freshman, and he has experience in the Olympic Development Program, which is another high-level program in youth soccer. Several top Mount Si boys’ and girls’ soccer players in recent years have spent time in this program, so Salem is in some good company already.
Part of the reason why the Wildcats are expected to be strong this season is that a number of their players play year-round, many for the Preston-based Eastside FC club program. That high-level, year-round experience is becoming more critical, as a number of the top contenders in Kingco 4A also boast rosters full of year-round club players from both Eastside and Redmond-based Crossfire FC.
It’s expected that Issaquah and Skyline will be the primary contenders with Mount Si in the Kingco’s Crest Division, while Redmond is expected to handle business well in the Crown Division and also contend for the overall league title. The Eagles and Spartans have been perennial powers in KingCo for many years, so them being at the top will not be a surprise to longtime observers of the sport locally at the high school level.
The Wildcats’ coaching staff will also be well-known to local fans. Brown will be assisted by Ben Tomlisson. The longtime MSHS social studies teacher will be in his 14th season as Brown’s top assistant. They will be joined by a couple of familiar faces in their first year on staff – MSHS grads and former players Reid Howland and Eddie Becker.
Mount Si opens the season on Saturday, March 9th with a game at Kentwood at 1PM. They’ll open the KingCo 4A schedule next Wednesday night at Bothell, then host their home opener on March 15th against Lake Washington.
The full game schedule can be found on Mount Si High School’s boys’ soccer webpage.