August 23, 2022 — Coming into the fall 2022 season, expectations are the highest that they’ve been in the Siuslaw soccer program’s short history. The combination of the drop down to the 3A division and a team of experienced players means all signs are there for this year’s team surpassing the previous season-high win total of two that the Viks accomplished in the first season.
This season, the program’s third in existence, will be the first that there are no girls on the roster and also the first time a student from Mapleton has played as a Viking. Upriver resident Ramil Beers is one of three freshmen to start the season on the 15-man varsity roster. Kale Jensen and Camden Linton are the other two.
Joining those three freshmen is a relatively experienced Siuslaw/Mapleton squad. Though the Vikings lost 4A All-Sky-Em League midfielder Jason Garcia to graduation, his co-captain returns in senior Noel Hernandez. Other seniors include Alex Goss and Lucian Murphy, both of whom have been with the program since day one, along with Jake Roberts and Yoskar DeLaMora, who took their junior years off from soccer but have returned for this fall season.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday of last week, the team practiced twice a day, giving them lots of preparation for the season. Though season prep just started, Viking Coach Londi Tomaro likes what she sees thus far.
“The kids are responding really well,” she said. “We've been trying to keep our practices efficient and to the point, and they're liking that a lot. It is nice to get that extra time with them and cover a few more things.”
Many of the players on the Siuslaw/Mapleton roster have been with the program since the beginning and that experience will be a factor in the Vikings’ favor this year.
“These kids want to have a good team,” said Tomaro. “I see a lot of talent and drive and heart out there. Some of these kids have played together for a few years now. Next, we have the task of getting all these kids who’ve been really working hard to show us what they have and to make them a cohesive unit. They’re going to get frustrated with each other, but they need to learn to shake that off and stay together as a team and not let another team break their cohesiveness during a game.”
Starting this fall Siuslaw/Mapleton will play in the 3A/2A/1A Special District 3, a large league with 11 other schools.
Tomaro believes the drop down to 3A will provide her team with more even competition and she looks forward to competing in the new league.
“I'm really looking forward to our competition this year,” Tomaro said. “I think it'll be a much better match for us. There will be teams that challenge us, but overall, I'm really pleased with the conference we have and the competition that we'll be having this year.”
The Viking boys open their season Thursday, Aug. 25. Siuslaw/Mapleton will host the 4A Sweet Home Huskies for a non-league match that starts at 6 p.m. at Hans Petersen Memorial Field, behind Siuslaw Middle School.
For the full schedule for the 2022 Siuslaw/Mapleton Viking varsity boys soccer team, go to www.osaa.org/teams/46134.