Program Memories

~Years listed for each participant represent their fall soccer seasons and not graduation year~

I have countless, incredible memories of the MVC soccer program. It was an honor to play for the MVC community, my friends, family, and the alumni of the program. It was really motivating to know that I was part of something larger than myself.  I have fond recollections of traveling with the team, playing a match, then stopping at a restaurant where great memories were made. The soccer program is where most of my lasting friendships grew.  ~David Riley, 2005-2008.

When I think back on my years of Mount Vernon Christian soccer, I would say that my Sophomore and Junior season stood out the most. What I remember most prominently was the mentality that we only needed one to win. As the memories come flooding back, I remember countless times holding the line with the brothers around me year after year and the special bond that we all formed. I remember distinct moments where we would battle for 80 minutes or longer and through determination on all ends be able to outlast a team and get the goal we needed to move past them. The determination and grit that our team would put out to battle our opponents for 80 minutes every game is something I miss being a part of very much. I am so grateful for being on teams that I was; that truly put their best foot forward to go 1-0 every day. ~Christopher Wyatt, 2016-2019.

During my senior year after tearing my MCL and meniscus effectively ending my season after 4 games, I was able to hobble out with crutches two games in a row for penalty shootouts and made both shots in the respective games, one of them being Senior night. When I thought I had nothing left to give the team, somehow I was given a chance to still make a difference and be part of that team and it was the greatest thing I experienced in four years of playing. The biggest lesson I learned is that a man makes his plans, but God determines his steps, and that arrogance and self-awareness seldom go hand in hand.  ~Jonathan Hurd, 2002-2005.

In the early days of the MVC boys’ soccer program, the Hurricanes frequently dominated Northwest 1A/B competition only to fall short of the State tournament. This remained the case even as the program entered its second decade when, despite a pair of league titles and a combined record of 41-13 from 1998-2000, each season ended in disappointing fashion with a loss at the Tri-District level. But 2001 was destined to be different! We returned a veteran group that featured seven senior starters, including star striker Mark Medema and goalkeeper Travis Haveman. There were several bumps along the way. There was a disappointing road loss at rival Shoreline Christian, and a lopsided 5-2 defeat at Seattle Lutheran on 9/11 (Yes, that 9/11. I have no idea why we played that day). But the occasional lows were overshadowed by the highs that included a number of dramatic victories. There was our 1-0 non-conference home victory over Class 1A perennial contender Bellevue Christian when Medema found the net on a second-half direct free kick. We completed a season sweep of Archbishop Murphy with a 5-4 overtime victory on the road despite facing a 4-2 second-half deficit. Medema tied the game with a penalty kick late in regulation, and Derek Greydanus scored the game-winner in overtime. We entered the regular season finale needing a home victory over Shoreline to win the league title. Naturally, we promptly fell behind 2-0 in the first half. But we battled back to tie the game 2-2 at the end of regulation, and Brett Anderson scored the match-ending penalty kick in the shootout to give us our third league title in four seasons. Still, our stellar 12-2 record would be for naught should we again fail to advance in the postseason. In our Tri-District opener, we faced a rematch with a Cedar Park Christian team that we had handled easily at home in our season opener. But this day was different. We found ourselves deadlocked 0-0 late in the second half when Medema again converted a direct free kick for a 1-0. Minutes later, the whistle blew and we erupted in celebration of our first-ever State tournament berth. In the State quarterfinals, we took on a talented University Prep team that frankly outplayed us. However, it remained 0-0 through regulation and overtime – thanks largely to Haveman’s stellar play in net – and we headed to another shootout. Haveman ultimately saved the Pumas’ final attempt and we dog-piled on our star goalkeeper as we celebrated our first-ever berth in the State semifinals. Our State title dreams eventually came to an end with a 3-2 loss to Northwest Christian in the semifinals, and we dropped the third-place game to Overlake the following morning. But our fourth-place trophy was the first in school history and set a standard for Hurricanes soccer that culminated in the program’s first-ever state title in 2014 under head coach (and 2001 team member) Joel Adeline. There was nothing quite like that 2001 team and I feel fortunate to have been a part of that history-making team. ~Jesse Geleynse, 1999-2002.

When I look back at my time in the MVC soccer program, I have a lot of fond memories of friends, competition, and having fun as a team. I learned much through sports growing up, but reflecting back, one lesson stands out. There were many great wins and tough losses. God used those times to teach me the importance of glorifying him in both situations. It is tempting to forget God when things are good, and forget his goodness when things are bad. As trivial as sports seem to some, they provide an environment where young people can learn valuable life lessons that will refine them and prepare them for the challenges of adult life.  I now can see how God used my time with MVC soccer to grow me into the person I am today. Go Hurricanes! ~Joe Riley, 2003-2006.

My fondest memory of playing soccer at MVC was the camaraderie with my teammates. Spending time with guys that I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for soccer. Coach Adams really taught us to work together and trust each other. High School soccer was an awesome experience and I’ll always remember it. ~ Marc Ledeboer, 1996-1999.

I’ll always honor and cherish the time I played soccer at MVC and learning life lessons from our coaches and spending time with great friends and teammates. Some of my best memories from the years I played soccer at MVC were the team chemistry/bonding event and activities, since my senior year we had eleven seniors. I enjoyed the team dinners we had at players’ houses my senior year prepared by our moms. I also remember having a soccer lockout my sophomore year to start the season; getting up at 4AM, linking arms with all my teammates, crawling the entire length of the soccer field on our bellies and working as a team to get across. ~Chad Gudmunson, 2003-2006.

When I look back on my years as a player in the MVC Boys’ Soccer program, I think about all the memories forged on the practice and game fields. I still remember the feeling of angst and nervousness on Wednesdays when we all knew we would be running 120s later that day. I remember seeing the intensity written all over our coaches’ faces before a match, the quietness in the locker room before the first game of the season, and the feeling of pride of being part of a team with a group of guys that each took their jobs seriously. Traveling to Sumner and losing wasn’t quite as great as going there and coming back with the Golden Man [State Championship], but the memories of being with some of my best friends during the traveling and downtime we had is still very fresh in my mind. I don’t always miss the feeling before the Beep Tests or the Cooper Runs, but the camaraderie that I built with teammates and coaches is still very much alive and with me five years later. I’m proud to have been a part of this successful program and it wasn’t by fault that it became that way. I’m also grateful for the Christ-like leadership that was displayed by the coaching staff, they helped keep a lot of guys on the straight and narrow and I owe my current faith to them.  ~Dalton McIlrath, 2012-2015.

My sophomore year, I moved from forward to defense to play to the strength of our offense-heavy roster, and we made it to the A/B State Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. My most memorable moment was making the final goal in a Tri-District shootout with Shoreline, which I was dog piled on at our home field. Over the next two years, my life-long friendship with the late Jordan Kok was forged as I played left forward to his left midfield, and striker to his center midfield in our junior and senior campaigns. Some of my best high school memories are thanks to MVC soccer, the camaraderie, and the friendships formed on the pitch. ~Brett Anderson, 2000-2003.

The time I spent as a member of the soccer program at MVC was an integral part of my time in High School. The program gave me a way to represent my school, friends, and most importantly, my faith in a way that I have not seen since graduating. The coaching staff was more than the hard knocks coaches we are so used to…they were friends, fathers, and leaders. They inspired me to be better than myself, better than the team we were and inspired us to be true men of faith. They told us that a win isn’t worth anything if we didn’t do it in a way that Christian athletes would be proud of. They drove all of us to see the team as more than itself. We represented something more than a high school or a sport. We represented a fellowship. We competed for a God who praised our fortitude, our faith, and our representation of him. Coaches taught me what winning as a Man of God meant, and I will be forever thankful. The teammates that I played alongside were my brothers. I will never forget those who helped me. I came into the program inept in the minutiae of the game of soccer, but that did not stop my teammates from helping me become the best player I could be. When you step into the uniform as an MVC soccer player you are taking on the mantle of champions, warriors, and brothers. Do not take this responsibility lightly and do not fear the burden of it. Make sure you are ready for the triumphs and most importantly the defeats you will experience together. The men and women at MVC have prepared you for this role. Your mothers and fathers have prepared you for this role. Anyone who wishes to be better than themselves, to truly lay themselves out for others and their Lord…that is what being a Christian athlete is about. That is what being a man in the MVC soccer program is about. ~Caleb Smith, 2015-2016.

It is hard reflecting back and choosing a specific memory from the four years of being with the program because each moment was shaping me to become the man I am today. Many opportunities of well needed guidance, frustrations, and life lessons were taught, on and off the pitch. One game that comes to mind was during our senior year when we were expected to go far, even a shot at winning the State Championship. We were playing at MVHS under the lights. Those lights are always something special! I had already injured my knee and had been continuing to play not knowing it would require a meniscus repair after the season. This State Quarterfinal match proved to be more difficult than expected. We lost, knocking us early from the tournament and an abrupt end to a senior season. The frustrations were ever visible on that field. Tears, anger, sadness. All over in 90 minutes. The final speech from a coach and mentor, got us back on that field after that loss, standing tall, for another 20 minutes of the classic “Evergreen” drill. One last burst of unity and laughter with a group of men I will never forget. Every moment with the program were some of my best high school memories and I am forever grateful.  ~Brandon Crandall 2003-2006.

Joining the Soccer program freshman year was the best decision I made in high school. You form a bond with your teammates and become a family who always have each others’ backs. Our coaches were more than just coaches. They would go out of their way to make sure things off the field were going well and still check in on me to this day. The Core Values the program goes by are ones I have taken with me even after high school. The program has taught me how to carry myself in troubling times and how to better myself day-to-day. My favorite memory on the field was winning the 2017 Tri-District tournament against Crosspoint Academy. It was more than just winning. We were able to stop Crosspoint from having an undefeated season. We knew going into that game that we had to hold the legacy of being the only team to go undefeated [2014] and we defended the program. It’s not only having your current teammates’ backs, but past players as well. ~Jared Smith, 2015-2018.

I absolutely loved playing soccer for the Hurricanes. The friendship, the competition, long ferry rides for games in the San Juans, playing in the rain and the mud. All rich memories that I will treasure forever. Running non-stop for ninety straight minutes…. I will never be in that sort of shape again!  ~Matthew Kaemingk, 1996-1998.

The year was 2012, which happened to my senior year and the last time I would ever wear a soccer jersey for Mount Vernon Christian School. Our opponent for the Third/Fourth place State match was Providence Classical Christian, who happened to be our main competition from our league that year. All the hard work, early morning workout sessions, beep tests, practicing our penalty shots after every practice; all these things that were meant to get us in the right position to succeed and enabled us to make it as a team into the State playoffs. Although in this particular game we ended coming up short 2-1 and placing 4th in State, we still accomplished great things that year! Camaraderie was a huge theme that year, in that despite winning or losing, we still encouraged one another through the good and bad games.  ~Mark Geertsma, 2009-2012.

Every soccer memory has become a good one from the brotherhood you form with your teammates. Having coaches that lead as a great example to us, showing us how to live on and off the field, and giving us values to understand how to live as we moved on into our lives throughout the day and still today. I have plenty of memories, but my definite favorite was the State title game of my junior year. Once that final whistle blew all that hard work we had put in every day in the off-season and every day during that season~it felt like something we worked for, not something we just got. Our whole team worked the hardest we could to achieve what our goal was. Overall, the lessons I learned have taught me to work harder in life and to do what it takes to be the best me I can be. -Riley Hood, 2012-2015.

For me, the best part of playing soccer at MVC was the dedication of the boys to the other boys. We all were motivated to serve each other, fight for each other, and to lift each other up through our play. We were there to win games and we did that well! As a defender, I just wanted to shut down the other team’s offense.  Our other defenders had a similar mentality that made us a formidable back line. Our goalkeeper, midfielders and forwards had the same approach, which enabled our teams to be very solid. For the teams to come~focus on serving each other and work on cohesiveness so that you, too, will go far. It was great to have teammates who were like brothers, and I hope that the program teams in the future continue this familial level of camaraderie.  ~Austin Lazar 2015-2018.

When thinking of soccer, I have memories of us going to sit-down restaurants. I felt that it brought us closer together as a team to be able to sit after a win or a loss and get to become friends rather than just teammates, plus we always got to be together longer and it felt like a family more than a team.  In my junior year, we got a wallet-sized card that had the ideals that we played by and within each game, along with something to live by, not only in soccer, but also in life. I still have that card in my wallet and sometimes take it out and think, “Am I still living by those today?” and how that little card, most likely something that was easy to make, has made a big impact on my life even to this day, 11 years later. Finally, a funny memory is when we were playing at Bear Creek in the game to go to State [we won] and we scored a goal from thirty yards out and Coach freaked out and threw his clipboard with all our papers because he was so happy and they went all over the field.  I remember being on the field with a teammate and laughing so hard as we watched it all happen. ~Jeffrey McClelland, 2006-2009.

One of the memories that sticks out to me the most is the night we played Providence. It was full of insanity to say the least. We were down by one goal and in the last minute, I somehow was able to get us a goal to tie the game. About six minutes into overtime magically the lights went out. Game ends and we drive down a week later and play three minutes of overtime and win in a shootout. Lessons learned from that game are determination and focus. As a team we were determined to finish what we started and close the game out with a victory, which we did. Focus is another lesson because in the week following that game there were quite a few distractions with how we could finish that game, was the league going to let us finish the game, and how were we going to prepare for this short unusual game. We did both of those things as a TEAM, which leads to the next potential lesson. To me TEAM is a group of people that are determined to work together to accomplish the same goal. Whether it’s life, sports games, or a job. I would encourage the folks that play on the MVC soccer team to focus on what a TEAM is. The 2014 MVC soccer team that won State wasn’t a team full of self-centered players who were more concerned about personal stats. The players on the State Championship team were a group of individuals that wanted to succeed as a TEAM.  We were brothers! We worked together because we all wanted the same goal. When you choose to work together as a team, remarkable things can happen, not just in high school soccer but as these young men grow up into men with careers and family.  ~Jayson Withers 2011-2014.

Program Memories started being collected in late January 2021. Submissions from past MVC Boys’ Soccer participants, their parents or supporters are welcomed. Please send your memories to rpadeline@comcast.net