Outlaws return veteran soccer players
Last updated 8/29/2023 at 10:18am
The Sisters High School (SHS) boys soccer squad will be led by six returning seniors, including Vincent Christian, Austin Dean, Carson Bell, Baylor Dyer, Evan Martin, and Logan Ryba. This core group has lofty goals for the season; they not only look to repeat as league champs but want to go deeper, into the state tournament.
Christian and Dean are this year’s captains and both have been four-year starters for the Outlaws. Coach Jeff Husmann stated that Christian is a very determined and skilled player and Dean is one of the hardest working and most competitive players he’s had the opportunity to work with. Both players are versatile and are impact-type players.
Bell is expected to also be a big part of the team’s success. He has exceptional field vision and is also a highly-skilled ball handler. Husmann noted that Bell has high expectations of himself and his teammates and coaches have great confidence in him. Dyer returns as a starter, as a right back on defense and is a leader at that position. Dyer keeps things exciting for the team as he makes well-timed attacking runs out of the defense.
Martin is poised and ready for his senior season as a defender. His speed and unorthodox style make life tough for the opponents’ attacking players. Ryba has proven to be a versatile and aggressive player, and Husmann stated that he has such a positive attitude and willingness to learn wherever they move him on the pitch.
Eight juniors — Danny Benson, Micah Dachtler, Andrew Islas, Dominic Minney, Riley Carroll, Cooper Merrill, and Keegan Kroytz — will also be on the varsity squad.
Benson will play at striker and as an attacking midfield player. He is a skilled player, and his increase in size will be an asset to the team. Dachtler will see time at defense and midfield. He’s a returning starter and a very versatile player, who Husmann noted has excellent field vision, is up for any challenge, and is a diligent student of the game.
Islas is very good with the ball and will contend for a starting position on the squad as a striker or attacking midfield. Minney is working for a starting varsity position on defense, and has made big gains as a player since last year.
Merrill will play defense. According to Husmann he is a “beast, physically tough and smart.” Merrill is also a great leader on the field. Kroytz will see time at midfield and defense. He works hard every practice and coaches expect him to be an important sub. Carroll is a physical player and a good ball handler, and is back on the squad after a couple of years away from the sport.
Jesse Polachek, and Nick Palmer (both sophomores) will also play on varsity. Polachek (center back) was the lone player who played every minute of every game last year. He plays year-round and is one of the Outlaws’ most talented players. Palmer has lots of skill, is hungry to improve, and will see time in the midfield.
Three sophomores, Dugan Draper, Tyson Kemp, and Ivan Alport, will be swing players for the Outlaws. Coaches are excited about the improvements they’ve seen in Draper’s play and noted that he will be a reliable sub as a midfielder, and could challenge to be a starter. Kemp is new to the sport, but very athletic and tough, and has been quick to pick up new concepts and skills. Alport will see time at midfield and Husmann stated that he is poised to have a breakout season. He’s a natural athlete and could challenge for a starting position as an outside midfielder.
Sisters lost only one game in league last year, a 1-2 loss to Santiam Christian, and they hope to avenge that loss this season. The Outlaws will also face tough challenges against Pleasant Hill and Central Linn.
Husmann told The Nugget that they’ve had an increased number of players join the program this year (31). The biggest increase is the number of sophomores, which is 13. Many of these guys haven’t played for a couple of years or are brand-new to the sport, and Husmann noted that they are eager to improve and learn with every practice.
The Outlaws are also excited that Riley Newport has joined the program as the new JV coach. Newport is a SHS alumni and will bring a lot of energy and soccer experience to the program.
Of this year’s squad, Husmann said, “I’ve been most impressed with how our six seniors have been helping the younger players develop their skills. They model the kind of support, inclusivity, and leadership that you want out of your seniors.”
He added, “I’m very excited for this hardworking and close-knit group of athletes. We had a great year last year (10-6), winning our league, so we will certainly be a marked team. Our boys are looking forward to the challenge.”
The Outlaws kicked off their season with a jamboree at Caldera on Thursday, August 24. They will match up against Madras at home on Tuesday, August 29, in a non-league game.