The Sehome boys soccer team poses for photos with the tropy after winning the 2A state championship. PHOTO: Meghan Byford
CHAMPS! Sehome Boys Soccer Wins it All
May 26, 2019
- Doug Lange Bellingham
The Sehome boys soccer squad knew they would have to play their best to beat the best. Saturday night at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner the Mariners did exactly that and claimed the 2A state championship.
Sehome made Julius Ellison's lone goal hold up in a 1-0 victory over Columbia River. They controlled the pace and possession in the first half and let their defense fend off the defending champion Chieftains in the second. The win snapped Columbia River's17 game win streak and 45 game unbeaten streak.
Ellison scored in the 33rd minute on a header. The junior flicked on a throw-in by senior Ben Holroyd that went high above everybody to find the back of the net. It was the 5th goal for Ellison in the last three state playoff games.
Sehome coach Richard Henderson did not seem surprised that it was Ellison who stepped up.
"We talked about big games being defined by big moments from big players and he's one of those and I think as we got into the bigger games and the meat of the competition, he only got better," said Henderson. He's a guy who plays better against better players. the bigger the occasion, the better he has played, so he's been indispensable really."
Columbia River played back for most of the first half and looked tired after playing in the late semifinal on Friday night. That changed in the second half as the Chieftains would get their best scoring opportunities of the night.
They would miss just inches wide on a blast from the left wing in the 74th minute and just short from 20 yards out in the 76th minute. A late cross in extra time was punched out by the Mariners star goalkeeper Mason Kealy.
It's the third state soccer championship for Sehome and their first since 2008. On the bus ride back to Bellingham Saturday night Henderson told TDLN the championship has him thinking about growth of the program and the bright prospects for the future.
"It's actually made me really excited for next year. Already I'm thinking about what guys can come back. It's really great for those guys to see what we can do with all the seniors leaving," said Henderson. " Who's going to step up and can they continue the messaging , continue the culture. That's what it's really all about, it's building a brand, right? And what do you get when you come and play for Sehome."
That will have to wait for next season as they newly crown champs will bid farewell to 13 seniors who are going out in style.
The Mariners wrap up the season with a record of 19-1-3, going unbeaten over their last 19 contests. Tye also shined in the classroom and were honored for those efforts as well. In addition to the state championship trophy they're bringing to Whatocm County, Sehome also won the state scholastic award from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association for highest GPA.
- Doug Lange
Sehome soccer head coach Richard Henderson (far right) and his staff pose with the teams WIAA scholastic award after winning the 2A state championship in Sumner. PHOTO: Meghan Byford