Local Lacey middle schools in the North Thurston School District completed their fall season of sports in boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball. The four schools in the District include Chinook, Komachin, Nisqually and Salish middle schools.
Boys’ soccer from Chinook visited Salish on Wednesday, October 19, 2023 taking the game 3-2 on a beautiful fall evening. Chinook ended the year with a record of 5-1-2 and Salish had a record of 2-1-3. Chinook had 21 players and Salish had 40 players with two managers.
Second-year head coach, and Chinook 8th grade history teacher, Omar Machado-Granison was pleased with his team and the growth over the season. “It was a great season and I enjoyed seeing players cheer each other on and mentor each other,” Machado-Granison stated after the game. “Another highlight for me was seeing the captains this season lead and grow into their positions of leadership in a supportive way. Competition is important but having a place like soccer to teach lessons of leadership and teamwork is fantastic.”
Salish Middle School head coach Peter Manix also teaches history. This year he continued working on his goals of developing fundamentals and having unity and fun. “This year we had a particular focus on leadership on and off the field, COVID really stunted this in kids, and building up our defense,” remarked Manix. “For me, one of the best parts of middle school sports is watching the students develop as young gentlemen and as a team. Sports at Salish are about competing but the teams also make the kids feel more connected to the school and gives them relationships with adults that they wouldn’t normally interact with. It’s just a win and one more chance for them to know an adult that cares.”
Manix also stated how proud he was of his team. “They worked really hard and came together as a cohesive team, which isn’t easy as some of our most competitive kids play on different club teams and on the same teams as kids from other schools. For me, this is one of the strongest benefits of school sports as it gets all the kids in an area playing together, not just the ones with families that can afford private leagues. Also, kids get to play with kids at a variety of skill levels instead of being ranked by a tryout process.”