Features

Features posted on this page have been researched and written by a variety of contributors associated with the boys’ soccer program. The contents of each article should spark memories involving the participants and matches throughout the thirty-three year history of the Mount Vernon Christian Boys’ Soccer program.
November 2022. A GROUNDSKEEPER, ROUTINES and a ‘HOME FIELD’
When the soccer season moves to the final week of October and well into November, the crispness of an early morning turnout often finds the frost-covered field shrouded with a blanket of fog before sunbeams break through the lingering mist. The field takes on a different look, feel, and urgency depending on the time of the season. 

Since 1990, many Hurricane varsity student-athletes have partaken in varsity soccer matches. [Each can be seen by clicking on the “Team Photos” tab on this site.] An entire roster will rotate every few years as players matriculate through the program, from boys as freshmen to young men as seniors.  Besides numerous participants, the program has also had eight head coaches.  Even the on-campus field placement has changed three times throughout the program’s existence 

What hasn’t changed over the thirty-three years of varsity boys’ soccer is the school’s head groundskeeper.  Clarence Klunder has taken pride in providing and maintaining one of the best, all-grass match fields in the league and district, along with a few fellow field caretakers.

Every season, Clarence herds the riding lawnmower across the acreage of Mount Vernon Christian fields.  Before soccer came to campus, he had already put in eleven years of lawn mowing. Back and forth, east and west, north and south, creating patterns like those seen from aerial shots of the finest fields in the land.

Come match day, it is game on for Clarence!  He sets about and does some of his best work. Despite mowing the entirety of the various school fields each week, Clarence is out early on a match day mowing the varsity field one more time, making his part ready, before fresh bright white lines are re-applied onto the manicured and well-groomed field providing Hurricane teams and their guests the best possible field conditions. It has even been hinted that when you walk onto the playing surface at MVC, you are walking onto ‘hallowed grounds’, a field used only for varsity home matches.

Happenstance? Absolutely not!

For years during the mid-summer months, the late Chris VanderWekken would fertilize, set large kick sprinklers and trim around the fringes of the field.  By late August, the field was green and ready for preparation.  Athletic Director Dennis DeKok would bring out a variety of measuring tapes and meticulously determine all the elements for the field—its length, width, corners, goal and 18-yard box, sidelines and more.  Satisfied only when all measurements were as precise as a quarter of an inch, DDK would use diesel to burn in the lines before painting them.  This practice was stopped, not because of environmental concerns, but because more than a few players turned or broke an ankle in the shallow divots created by the product.

Finally came the setting of goals, along with an almost ceremonially installation of the nets. 

Eight years ago, when a family of moles tried to make the field their home, a self-proclaimed ‘mole eradicator’ was called upon to rid the friendly confines of its unwanted guests through his “specialized trapping technique”. 

Fast forward.

An hour or so before the start of the match, the field lays ready.  By the time visiting players and referees arrive, MVC players enter the field, and spectators line the sidelines, the only thing that remains is the match itself.  

Because of one legendary groundskeeper, five athletic directors, and a few selfless other caretakers through the seasons, who have loved the boys’ soccer program and understood that the venue will always be a place where memories are created, the same field routines have been carried on throughout much the program’s history.

Over the seasons, there have been attempts to call the field by name, such as Alumni Field, Varsity Field, Hurricane Place, Mission Field, but none seemed suitable.

Maybe just call it ‘Home Field’, as in a ‘home-field’ advantage.

[Author’s note: This is a historical perspective and one cannot think of MVC soccer field preparation without recalling Jack Hammingh, who would trim in and around the practice goals all summer so he and teammates could practice shot, after shot, after shot on goal.]
October 2022. MEMORABLE FIELDS and STADIUMS.
With their environments, crowds, anticipation, and entire match experience, some fields and stadiums have become more memorable than others throughout the thirty-three seasons of Mount Vernon Christian Boys’ Soccer.  Listed below are some of the more noteworthy venues that have provided lifelong MVC Boys’ Soccer memories. 
Working our way backward like ESPN’s SportsCenter’s [“da da da, da da da”] nightly Top Ten~

 
10. (Three-Way Tie involving just a single match played at each site)
Kirkland Lacrosse Center, Kirkland, WA.  Known as “The Night the Lights Went Out in Kirkland”, the 2014 match features the top teams in the State—#1 Providence Classical Christian and # 2 MVC. There is great intensity on the field and among the numerous vocal and rowdy spectators from both schools in attendance. Trailing 1-0, the Hurricanes knock in a late equalizer sending the match to overtime. With two minutes left in the second extra period, the lights go out; the result of PCC not having prearranged the evening’s match with their local Parks Department.  After much discussion and frustration, the match is suspended.
Returning to the same field three weeks later, the remaining two-minutes are played, before MVC finally claims a thrilling victory during a memorable Shootout, changing the trajectory of their season, setting up an unforgettable conclusion.

Owens Field at The Bear Creek School, Redmond, WA.  In 2008, the Hurricanes travel to play the top-ranked Grizzlies on their home field in a A/B Tri-District match.  The rain-drenched, eventful afternoon sees the visitors score two goals, have one of their best players injured and taken to the hospital and surrender a late goal, before claiming a 2-1 victory and a berth in the State Tournament.  It also marks the first win over The Bear Creek School in program history.
Seattle Lutheran Field/Park, West Seattle, WA.  Despite the attack and tragic events that happen around the nation on the morning of September 11, 2001, MVC busses to West Seattle for an afternoon match with the Saints. The unsettled feelings among team members are the result of seeing multiple battleships visible from the field and fighter jets constantly taking off on patrol runs throughout the match.  The Hurricanes struggle on the field and lose.  Despite the loss, the Hurricanes go on to the school’s first-ever A/B State Semi-Final soccer berth, but in recalling the events of that September day, team members still wonder why they played on 9/11.
 
9.  Interlake HS Stadium, Bellevue, WA.  One of the stadium sites that was used for Tri-District tournaments where the Hurricanes experienced some very memorable matches. Four amazing match results from here include a 3-2 A/B State Quarterfinal overtime victory with The Overlake School in 2004, a 2-0 Tri-District win over undefeated King’s West in 2007, a 3-1 Tri-District Championship victory over Providence Classical Christian in 2014, and a Tri-District loss in 2015 to Tacoma Baptist, snapping the MVC’s consecutive win streak at forty-one matches.
 
8.  Friday Harbor HS Football Field (old field on campus).  The complete soccer experience was always had whenever the Hurricanes traveled to San Juan Island and played the Wolverines on their old football field.  Matches were always very physical and competitive.  The first halves were made more difficult, often the result of tightly scheduled ferry travel and shortened warm-up time, referred to by coaches as the “Friday Harbor Funk”.  A 3-2 MVC win in 2014 ends a twelve season Friday Harbor win streak on this field with the Hurricanes. Island visits ended with the camaraderie of team members relaxing and enjoying fish n’ chips from the Hungry Clam before catching the late ferry back to the mainland.
 
7.  Edmonds District Stadium, Edmonds, WA.  Before the changed format of postseason, A/B Tri-District Tournament matches were all held at this venerable stadium.  Arguably, two of the most memorable of all the Hurricane performances at this site come in 2001 when they score late in a 1-0 victory over Cedar Park Christian that sends MVC to its first-ever A/B State Tournament. In the State quarterfinals also contested here, the Hurricanes continue their run with a 1-0 Shootout win over University Prep, that sends them to Auburn Memorial Stadium for the State Championship Semi-Final/Final Weekend.
 
6.  Dahl Field, Orcas Island HS, Eastsound, WA.  The grass was often mushy and torn-up a bit.  There was always an anxiousness about playing here. The old football field was fully crowned and narrow, but that did little to slow down MVC offenses designed to operate in wide-open spaces.  All-time, the Hurricanes dominated the Vikings when they traveled to the Eastsound field losing only a handful of times here. 
 
5.  Shoreline Center Soccer Field A, Shoreline WA.  Depending on the weather,the entirely dirt home field for the Shoreline Christian Crusaders would result in matches being contested in either dust bowl conditions or a muddy, quagmire of a mess. During several matches, balls placed for penalty kicks would float on mud puddles. Many a hard-fought battle was waged on this field before artificial turf was installed in 2008.
 
4.  Bulldog Stadium, Mount Vernon WA.  Used for numerous early morning summer turnouts, matches played here usually meant November and the postseason.  Under the dazzle of the stadium’s bright lights, teams and supporters did not mind gathering in either cold and crisp or rainy weather.  Afternoon matches played here brought rooter busses of MVC students up the hill for Tri-District action. 
 
3.  Jack Whitaker Field, La Conner, WA. Matches played on the Braves’ campus field were often intense, chippy, and always memorable.  The field’s narrow width and short length, combined with the usual gusty winds, made one of the only night matches of each year, prior to the postseason, quite an experience. The venue was routinely a place where many MVC teams were recipients of La Conner supporter taunts intended to intimidate their county rival as they walked to and from the field. Through the seasons, MVC has had many tremendous outings here and team members have enjoyed collecting small pieces of sod from the field prior to their victorious departure.
 
2.  Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner, WA.  The host site of the 1B/2B State Championships for many seasons, MVC has not always fared well when traveling to Sumner for their pair of Championship Weekend matches. But the ultimate experience occurred during the 2014 season when the Hurricanes earned a pair of back-to-back, come-from-behind victories to claim the program’s first 1B/2B State Championship, concluding a 22-0-0 record.   The scoreboard at the end of the stadium was magnificently displayed in bright lights: Hurricanes 2, Tigers 1.  This marked the only time in this WIAA classification history that a school had posted an undefeated boys’ soccer season. 
And of course,

1. Mount Vernon Christian Fields, Mount Vernon, WA.  HOME!  An almost magical place that has numerous great moments and where Hurricane teams have experienced an incredible amount of success. There have been three fields on campus, but each has afforded the Hurricanes a distinct, home-field advantage because of their nice width and length, along with great home crowds.  The original field was situated where the present high school building is now positioned.  During construction of the high school, the soccer field was re-positioned and ran west-to-east where the northern portion of the present middle school field is now located.  The current field is situated along the retaining pond fence line, running north-to-south.  From 2013-2017, Hurricane teams ran off a string of 32 consecutive home victories.
September 2022. ALL-TIME TEAMS SELECTED.
EVER WONDER about an all-time Hurricane boys’ soccer team – the best of the best to wear the blue and white (also black) uniforms throughout the many seasons?
Recently, a small group of program followers pored over the stats, lore, and legacy of the MVC soccer student-athletes looking for answers.  The task was less than easy. 
It was difficult to compare the legends of the early program days with those who have suited-up more recently, especially when one considers the different level of yearly competition, teams, coaches, offensive and defensive style of play, and the eye test, which has blurred slightly from what it once was.
The compilation has been completed. Seventeen team members, including two goalkeepers, were selected for recognition on each of the first, second and third teams.  The reason?  You know, just in case, someone needed a breather (substituted) or was injured.   
We realize others may also have been deserving. We acknowledge that every team member over the years has served an important role, on and off the field, in serving and bettering their teammates and the MVC program.
Enjoy the selections commemorated below!

[Names listed in alphabetical order. Years played are in parenthesis.]
FIRST TEAM:
Goalkeepers:
Travis Haveman (’98-’01), Riley Hood (’12-’15).
Defenders:
Clancey Aguero (’00-’02), Billy DeJong (’94-’96), Philip deVries (’03-’06), Greg Hibma (’98-’01), Jeffrey McClelland (’06-’09).
Midfielders:
Jimmy Collins (’03-’06), James Hurd (’11-’14), Dalton McIlrath (’12-’15), Justin Strauss (’98-’01), Jayson Withers (’11-’14).
Forwards:
Jack Hammingh (’13-’16), Kyler Houck (’16-’18), Tyler Houtsma (’11-’14), Mark Medema (’98-’01), Caleb Riley (’09-’12).
 
SECOND TEAM
Goalkeepers:
Marc Ledeboer (’96-’99), Jared Smith (’16-’18).
Defenders:
Kris Aguero (’97-’00), Jesse Gelyense (’99-’02), Jonathan Hurd (’02-’05), Nolan Mailliard (’07-’10), Christopher Wyatt (’16-’19).
Midfielders:
Cooper Blade (’07-’10), Aaron Klein (’95-’98), Darin Kuipers (’91-’94), Adam Mines (’01-’04), Jon Orange (’97-’00), Nathan Sakuma (’98-’01), Gabe Taylor (’15-’18).
Forwards:
Jamie McCarty (’98-’01), David Riley (’05-’08), Mark Veldkamp (’95-’98).
 
THIRD TEAM
Goalkeepers:
John Morrison (’08), Matt VanderArk (’02-’04).
Defenders:
Brandon Burr ((’95-’98), Tim Cummings (’12-’15), Michael Hancock (’11-’14), Daniel Houtsma (’08-’11), Josh Krause (’98).
Midfielders:
Matt Kaemingh (’96-’98), Noel Sakuma (’06-’08), Bryson Smith (’13-’16), Joe Riley (’03-’06), Ben Rozema (’19-’22), Caleb Twedt (’14-’16).
Forwards:
Joel Adeline (’01-’04), Brett Anderson (’00-’03), Darren Smiley (’92-’94), Jason VandenBosch (’91-’94), Daniel Westra (’02-’05).