No matter how bad his wrists hurt during a game, the pain Connor Sigmon feels subsides with every Tumwater boys soccer win.
Sigmon, the Thunderbirds’ junior All-League striker, has had a monster postseason, scoring a team-high 10 goals in five games. While that number is eye-popping, how he has accomplished it is also impressive – with a fractured left wrist and a badly sprained right wrist.
Sigmon has helped the T-Birds (19-0-2) continue their record-setting season with the program’s first state semifinals appearance today at 6 p.m. at Sumner’s Sunset Chev Stadium. Tumwater will face Fife (19-0), last year’s 2A state runner-up, with a shot at Saturday’s state title game on the line. Sigmon described the feeling as “surreal.”
“We’re excited just to be able to do this,” he said.
He has scored 21 goals this season, second on the team behind senior striker Kevin Weyand (22). Sigmon’s first wrist injury – the sprain – came during a 3-0 win over Washougal in the District IV semifinals May 8.
Two games later, in a 3-2 first-round state win over Port Angeles on May 16, Sigmon fractured his left wrist as he hit the turf hard after being taken down from behind by the Roughriders’ Nicholas Ioffrida.
Sigmon left the game to get the wrist taped, but quickly returned. Since then, both his wrists have been heavily taped for games, and his left wrist is in a cast.
“I’m trying not to make it affect me a lot,” Sigmon said. “I don’t really feel it much because of the adrenaline and severity of the game.”
Opposing teams have tried to slow down Weyand, a German exchange student. That has opened up the scoring chances for Sigmon and fellow striker Austin Snyder, as well as increased Weyand’s assists. In last weekend’s 3-1 win over Franklin Pierce, Weyand assisted on both of Sigmon’s goals.
Each win is a new first for Tumwater. En route to the school’s deepest run at state, the T-Birds captured their first league title since 1996. They also set a school record for number of wins, and are working on their first undefeated season.
Tumwater is just the fourth South Sound school to reach the state semifinals. If the T-Birds reach the championship game, they would join Elma (2002) and North Thurston (1985, ’90) as the only area teams to do so.
The undefeated Trojans stand in their way. Fife’s Caesar Esquival and Victor Mansaray have combined to net 52 goals and dish out 27 assists this season.
“We definitely should prove to everyone else in Washington we’re able to compete with other teams and able to win state,” Sigmon email@example.com 360-754-5473 www.theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick