By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — The Washington High School soccer family was back together Saturday afternoon, and it felt like no time had passed.
The ninth-annual alumni game for the Washington men’s and women’s Hatchet soccer alumni took place Saturday, but for the first time weather impacted the competition on the field.
The weather was fantastic for much of the afternoon before a thunderstorm equipped with lightning strikes cancelled the much-anticipated men’s alumni-2013 boy¹s soccer team game, which was scheduled to be the final game of the night.
The first two games went off without a hitch. The men’s alumni white-black game was competitive as it is every year. The white squad led 1-0 at halftime, but the intensity was ratcheted up in the final 40 minutes. Lance Davis (2011) scored the go-ahead goal with four minutes left in regulation, giving the black squad a 3-2 lead.
“It was just one of those things were you could feel a shift,” said former Washington coach Kevin Myers. “I kind of saw it too, they (black squad) were a little more determined - ..- it’s this way every year. We were talking last year, it ended up being 5-5 at the end of regulation and ended up going to penalty kicks, which was the first time that happened.”
The best part of the alumni games for all involved is the variety of players from the past 20 years of Washington soccer.
Mandy Dyer, a 1993 graduate, attended her first alumni game this year ‹most years her family vacation intervenes - but she was finally able to attend this year. The women’s alumni game set up is the teams are split between odd and even graduation years. The odd graduation years won 3-0.
“It brings back the camaraderie and the sense of community and this year is my 20-year reunion, so I’m going to get to see my classmates and my fellow soccer players ¬ I think it’s a great event,” Dyer said.
Dyer’s brother, Mitch Wilkerson, a 1996 graduate, enjoyed his fourth alumni game Saturday. Wilkerson said the sense of community that still exists for former players around Washington is still astonishing.
“It’s unbelievable,” Wilkerson said. “Kevin Myers, and now his son, Quintin, they are just class acts. Once you become a member of Washington soccer, you are a member for life. They treat you right. You’re family and you know they’re always going to be there for you.”
Unfortunately, the inclement weather took away the most anticipated game of the day - the men’s alumni vs. 2013 boys’ soccer team game. The men’s alumni is 8-0 in the game and the members of the alumni have talked plenty about not wanting to ever lose to the current Washington boys team.
“There’s a little pride that goes into it,” Wilkerson said. “When they beat us and we know it’s going to happen eventually, they¹re going to be really good, because there are a lot of quality players coming out of this program.”