POULSBO — It was exactly the kind of start the BU-14 NK Explosion soccer squad envisioned when it began preseason practices in March.
The Explosion put forth a perfect 2-0 record, finishing in one of the top eight slots out of 29 teams at the league placement tournament in Snohomish June 2-3, guaranteeing the team a spot in the Premier 1 Division, the highest level youth soccer league in Washington, for the rest of the season.
In those games, the team outscored its opponents by a combined tally of 15-3.
Explosion coach Darryl Wilder said his team benefitted from a strong showing in its first tournament of the year at Viking Cup.
“We played up (faced teams one year older from BU-15 division) at Viking Cup and made it to the finals,” he said. “I think it helped us in the league placement tournament. We had already gone against bigger and faster opponents. It was a good boost for us. We were ready.”
Making Division 1 is a big deal, Wilder commented.
“It’s huge. It was one of our goals as a team. A lot of the times in summer tournaments you won’t get in unless you’re a Premier 1 team,” he said. “Now we shouldn’t have a problem getting into the coveted tournaments around the state. It’s a big advantage.”
The team couldn’t be happier about achieving one of its early season goals.
“After the league placement tournament that’s all our team was talking about. We’re P-1,” Wilder said. “They kept on giving each other high fives. Everyone was excited.”
The core group of Explosion has played together for the last four years.
“We are weak nowhere,” Wilder said. “Our squad is strong in every aspect of the game. I have been coaching the team for the last four years since they were in BU-11, and they get better every year.”
Wilder said the team is committed to the sport of soccer.
“They come to practice everyday and train hard,” he said. “We have the talent to do very good this summer.”
Members of the Explosion include Jason Ashton, Mitchell Coryell, Ismael DeLuna, Nathan Dulay, Robert Elliot, Chris Gracey, Ben Holland, Jordan Hadden, Juan Ramirez, Tyler Swansboro, Cody Sweeney, Nick Tedford, Michael Thorsen, Garrett Wilder, Connor Winship and Fischer Young.