It’s winning time for BHS

Bothell High tri-captains, from left, Tayler Wike, Erica Conrad and Leah Perrault, kick the ball around at Pop Keeney Field. - Photos by Fumiko Yarita / Reporter
Bothell High tri-captains, from left, Tayler Wike, Erica Conrad and Leah Perrault, kick the ball around at Pop Keeney Field.
— image credit: Photos by Fumiko Yarita / Reporter

Girls are set to score

Soccer balls were missing, but the Bothell High tri-captains weren’t going to let them get away.

“There are 12 and I have nine,” said one senior captain, Leah Perrault, after practice last Tuesday night at Pop Keeney Field.

Added first-year coach Chris Harrison with a laugh: “They’re $40 each, I’m down 120 bucks. That’s 5 percent of my budget.”

A few minutes later, Perrault chimed back in, “Now we’ve got 11.”

It took teamwork to locate the balls — most of them — and the Cougars plan to work together on the field, as well, to notch some victories this season. Erica Conrad, another senior captain, noted that her team won just four games the last two years — but that’s in the past.

“Out of our three years, this is the best team,” Conrad said. “The attitude of all the girls after last season is that we’re sticking through it.

“It’s definitely frustrating loss after loss ...”

Added junior captain Tayler Wike: “Every new year, there’s a fresh start. If you get down on yourself, you lift yourself back up. There’s always something you can improve on.”

As the three girls gathered on the field following their practice session, you could see in their eyes and body language that they were set to start the season. The Cougars were supposed to get kicking on this night against Inglemoor, but the referees were a no-show and the match was canceled.

Aside from the tri-captains, some of the Cougars’ top returners include senior Kaitlin Abrahamson and junior Chandler Mandell to go along with sophomore newcomers Devon Eckberg, Shannon Shueren, Ashley Butcher and Janelle Fletcher.

“We’ve got great team chemistry, an excellent bond,” Perrault said. “Everybody is willing to work hard, and we’re definitely building for the next few years.”

Speaking of newbies, Harrison jumps on board this season to replace Katie Drovdahl in the coach’s spot on the sidelines. He ran the show for the last five years at Bothell’s feeder school, Skyview Junior High, and is enjoying his time on the high-school scene.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, it’s a fortunate position that I’m in,” he said. “I’ve got a great group of young ladies who are willing to learn, willing to listen.

“My job is to make them better and make them happy.”

Conrad said that putting the ball into the back of the net is the team’s main goal this season, but also notes that having fun together with her friends is a key element of soccer. As she looks around at her fellow captains, they all nod their heads in unison. They smile and laugh, but they’re dead serious about winning this season.

And they’re relying on each other to do so.

“This bunch of girls, if it wasn’t for these girls a lot of us may not have come back this year,” Conrad said. “There’s no negatives ... we’re all friends.”

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