From left, North Creek head coach Dustin Short, Jacob Moon, Gian Herrera and Viraj Shah. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

From left, North Creek head coach Dustin Short, Jacob Moon, Gian Herrera and Viraj Shah. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

North Creek displays a solid work ethic, athleticism

Jaguars kicking strong in 4A KingCo.

Continued shots of positivity and togetherness can take the North Creek High boys soccer team far this season, according to first-year head coach Dustin Short.

As they neared the halfway point of the 4A KingCo season, the Jaguars sported a 2-2 league record and 5-2 overall mark at press time. Big moments were handing Redmond — last year’s 3A KingCo tournament champ and state semifinalist — its only loss (1-0) of the season and leading another powerhouse Mount Si, 1-0, up until the final minutes before falling, 2-1.

Short notes that playing in the intense 4A KingCo conference involves matching opponents’ physicality — two Jaguars sustained concussions against Mount Si — but his team goes far beyond that.

“We’re trying to play very organized, very skillful, very technical,” said Short, noting that the Jaguars bring out the best in each other. “I think what makes this a special team but also a unique team is not only their work ethic and athleticism, but the style of play that we’re trying to achieve.”

Short teaches his players to respect the game, the referees, the coaches and their opponents. He has high expectations for himself and his players and wants to make sure they play the game correctly.

Senior center midfielder Gian Herrera, who recently won a state cup with his Seattle United U18-19 squad, has high hopes for the Jaguars.

“I just like how hard we work and how together we are throughout the games. We keep it positive and we just give it all we can throughout the games, even if we’re down,” Herrera said.

Viraj Shah, a senior wing/center midfielder who also plays premier ball in Edmonds, said the team’s tight connection pays dividends when the ball is kicked into play.

“We all treat each other as a family. We’re really close, and I think that really helps with our playing style, too,” Shah said. “It’s intense throughout the whole game. You have to just keep your composure and keep the intensity up.”

After a year playing for the Crossfire Academy, senior center back Jacob Moon returns to the high-school scene with his new team after competing for Bothell High sophomore year.

With the energy flowing in 4A KingCo, Moon and his teammates are competing hard each match.

“This year brings a lot of excitement ‘cause we also have a lot of underclassmen that proved themselves during tryouts and also throughout the season,” Moon said.

Other top players for North Creek are sophomore goalkeeper Lucas Haigh (two shutouts), senior defender Anirit Bansal and junior forward Jonathan Perez and sophomore defender Josh Vora, both of whom notched hat tricks in wins over Shorecrest and Newport, respectively.

Short has coached for 20 years — including six at Seattle United — after playing ball for Linfield College in Oregon.

The Shorecrest High grad’s Jaguar squad beat his alma mater, 5-4, in a thrilling match to begin the season. North Creek trailed, 4-2, with a player down after being issued a red card before launching a comeback.

“It kind of gave me a sense of the makeup of the team, and how they (have) a no-quit attitude and they’re willing to push through adversity,” Short said.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

North Creek High’s boys soccer team. Courtesy of Trevor’s Photography

North Creek High’s boys soccer team. Courtesy of Trevor’s Photography

More in Sports

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Inglemoor’s Laird shines at state swim meet

Viking takes sixth in two events.