In a weekend dedicated to the memory of a former teammate, the White Pine High School Bobcat soccer team did right by him in earning third place in the Jason Nelson Memorial Soccer Tournament. The Cats hosted Battle Mountain, Dayton, West Wendover, Spring Creek JV, and the Elko JV last Friday and Saturday.
The Bobcats got off to a quick start on Friday against Spring Creek’s JV, scoring four goals in the opening 15 minutes. The game finished at 5-1 as all 24 of the available players made terrific contributions. Saturday’s second match put the Bobcats up against Battle Mountain, who beat the Cats 4-1 last weekend with a late onslaught of goals in the game’s closing minutes. This game played out even until senior Gabe Harris knocked in the winning goal with a minute left for the 1-nil WPHS victory.
On Saturday, the Cats played a tough Dayton team. A few loose ends and missed assignments resulted in a 3-0 win for Dayton, which dominated play by “getting to the ball first” repeatedly throughout the match. That result left WPHS in third as a result of the win over Battle Mountain on Friday.
The 2016 Bobcats feature a prideful group of returning and somewhat new seniors led by first-team all-conference defender Marco Pacheco, midfield standout Jonathan Gonzales, terrific all-around player Kellen Wilkin, and potentially one of the state’s top goalies, Seth Robertson. Seniors Macrae Windous, Will Dalton, and Gabe Harris have significantly improved their play at midfield and will be relied on heavily through the season. Three seniors bolstering the Cats’ defense will be the ever-tenacious Dalton Westlund, Bobcat hoops standout, Colton Rowley, and the deceptively skilled Jason Bautista.
Many of the players were friends and teammates with Jason Nelson, who passed away last October. Nelson’s love of life; his boundless enthusiasm; his ability to brighten everyone’s day; and the everlasting twinkle and determination in his eyes will always be cherished, remembered, and called upon by all that knew and were touched by him.
WPHS’ Bobcats travel to Fernley with the Ladycats to play a pair of games this Saturday.