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Sandy falls in first round, but awarded several accolades

Luebbert voted leagues coach of the year


The Pioneers' boys soccer team, the only Sandy team to escape the 5A play-in round this fall, saw its season end last Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to the state's top-ranked team, undefeated Woodburn, at Woodburn High School.by: FILE PHOTO: KRISTOPHER ANDERSON  - Brody White, above, was selected as a first-team all-league midfielder. Coach Garet Luebbert was voted NWOC coach of the year.

While Sandy didn't win on the field last week, it did capture a few accolades off the field. Brody White was selected Northwest Oregon Conference first-team midfielder, while forward Wyatt Edwards and defender Kennedy Salveter each earned a second-team all-team selections. Midfielders Cristian Dominguez and Anthony Krening received all-league honorable mention as well.

Also, head coach Garet Luebbert was voted coach of the year after his team reached the first round of the playoffs for the first time in school history.

“We have good coaches and we have good parents who have really done a lot for these kids,” says Luebbert, who also won the award in 2008. “We have a lot of kids who have put a lot more time and commitment into this sport than we did 10 years ago. They deserve the credit for that. It's neat that they're getting recognized.”

The Pioneers finished with an overall record of 7-7-1 and a 3-4 record against Northwest Oregon Conference opponents. The year was highlighted by a 1-0 play-in round win over 12th-ranked Willamette on Nov. 3. It also helped solidify Luebbert's award, which he received instead of Putnam head coach Mitch Wing, whose team won the league title for the second consecutive season.

“That win at Willamette made it a little more sentimental, a little more purposeful,” Luebbert says. “But as a competitor, I want to earn (the coach of the year award) by winning a state championship. But it's cool for them to recognize you.”

The majority of Sandy's team will return next season. Only seven players will graduate, however; that includes a few key defenders, such as Salveter.

“We have some good kids coming back, assuming everyone stays healthy and eligible on our side,” Luebbert says. “Our biggest problem will be filling some holes. It could be a blessing in disguise.

“We had a real solid group of kids leading our defense this year — good athletes, great leaders, hard workers. But they weren't club players who were playing year-round soccer. For them to perform as well as they did is pretty remarkable. I think they out-performed most kids in the same situation.”

NOTES FROM GAME

Luebbert said one the keys to last week's playoff match would be surviving the first 10 minutes. Sandy did, and, in fact, caught Willamette a little off in the early minutes. But with seven minutes remaining in the first half, Willamette struck for the first score of the game.

The Wolverines solidified the win by scoring their second goal with about 15 minutes remaining in the game.

While his players were disappointed with the outcome, Luebbert called it one of the Pioneers' best defensive efforts of the season.