Hours before the whistles blow to kick off Week 6 of the high school football season Friday night, Jeff Peltier and the Timberline Blazers will be at South Sound Stadium to play their biggest test to date in girls soccer.
Although the Blazers have notched four straight shutouts and are tied for first in the 3A Narrows League, Peltier expects to learn the extent of his team’s character when it faces reigning league champion and current co-leader Wilson in a rare Friday afternoon game. The Rams (4-1-3) are on a five-match unbeaten streak.
“It will be a tough challenge,” Peltier said.
For the Blazers, their game with Wilson is the first of three afternoon starts over the next four games. Friday’s 3:30 p.m. start accommodates the 7 p.m. Timberline-Foss football game. Next Thursday’s 3 p.m. matchup with Foss also makes way for football – North Thurston vs. Shelton at 7. And on Oct. 22, a rare girls soccer triple-header begins at 3 p.m. against Timberline.
The Blazers (5-1-2) have won five straight, including shutouts of Foss, Shelton, Lincoln and Mount Tahoma. They have surrendered a league-low six goals while scoring a league-high 24.
Since a 3-0 setback to 4A Narrows leader Gig Harbor on Sept. 12, Peltier credits the midfielders and their pressure in aiding a strong defensive scheme.
“We’re really coming together,” he said. “The way we play out on the field has been fantastic.
“They’re able to hang on to the ball and win the ball in the back and don’t give it away right away. They’re moving out of the back extremely well.”
Timberline hasn’t won a league title in girls soccer since the Jody Dutra era. Dutra set a then-state record of 111 career goals in four seasons before graduating in 1992. The Blazers were runners-up to the Rams in league play a year ago.
“That’s one of my goals for the program (to win a league title),” Peltier said.
Timberline High senior Asan Neil-Evergin became South Sound’s first football player this fall to give a verbal commitment to an NCAA Division I team, announcing he’ll play at Eastern Washington, Blazers coach Nick Mullen said this week.
Neil-Evergin, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back/defensive back, hasn’t played since Week 1 against River Ridge after a tear in his spleen surfaced, prompting Mullen to shut down his senior season for precautionary health reasons.
Tumwater High senior Lane Russell, who captured the 2A state triple jump title and was runner-up in the long jump in May, gave an oral commitment to compete at Princeton.
Russell jumped 47 feet, 1 inch to win his first state title and is the school’s record holder in the event.
Olympia will play host to this year’s annual Capitol City Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday. It will feature a range of 4A, 3A, and 2A teams from across the state. Teams scheduled to attend include: Olympia, Capital, Black Hills, Tumwater, Timberline, North Thurston, Bothell, Gig Harbor, Mark Morris, Puyallup, Sequim, Central Kitsap, North Kitsap, Burlington-Edison, Selah, Ellensburg and Lynden.
The tournament title match has a tentative start time of 5 p.m.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com theolympian.com/ south-sound-sports-blog @megwochnick