By David Krueger Herald Writer
Spiva, a junior on the Marysville Pilchuck soccer team, is a jack of all trades — and positions — for Tomahawks head coach Paul Bartley. Listed on the official roster as a goalkeeper/forward, Spiva currently finds himself starting at midfield due to injuries affecting the MP squad. “He’s versatile,” Bartley said. “It makes you feel that you’ve got some security at both positions. He’s starting at outside-mid for us right now, but if we need him to slide into goal he can do that. His attitude is he just wants to do the best for his team.”
Q: How is the soccer season going for you guys?
A: It’s going pretty good. We started out good and then we kind of went through a downfall when two of our players quit. That was kind of hard on us. But in the game against Mountlake Terrace we kind of regained our trust with each other and found connections. We started playing as a team again. We’re getting a lot better. Even though we haven’t won as many games as we should have, we’re doing pretty good. We’re getting better and better every day.
Q: Are you guys making a push for the playoffs?
A: Yeah. Right now I think we’re either tied for third or fourth and the top four teams go, but there’s Ferndale (from the Northwest Conference). They take the eighth spot. We need to win these games. I think if we lose two we’re done. We better get to the playoffs. I want to keep going.
Q: It sounds like you’ve played quite a few positions this year, what have you played and where are you playing now?
A: I normally play in goal. I did that last year. And I did for the first half of the season this year but now since we only have 11 field players and two goalies, because of injuries and everything like that, I’ve had to play outside left mid(fielder) which was my position way back in the day. So I’m kind of going back to the roots a little bit and it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. I’ll play wherever the coach needs me to play. I’m fine playing wherever but I’m definitely not in as good of shape as I used to be. (Laughs.)
Q: What’s your favorite position to play?
A: Probably still goalie because I’ve played that ever since I tore cartilage in my knee. I just didn’t have the cardio I used to have. After that it was really hard on my body. I started playing goalie back in U-12. I just loved it. I love being the one to make the big saves.
Q: You were also an all-Wesco kicker for the MP football team. Does that help you with soccer in any way?
A: Actually I think it’s the other way around. Without soccer, without the kicking skills and the fundamentals of it, I wouldn’t have been able to kick a football as well as I did. Being out there kicking in the offseason when I’m not doing soccer keeps my leg muscles going. And it’s a blast too. Last year was my first year ever playing football.
Q: You guys made quite a run, getting all the way to the 3A state quarterfinals.
A: I loved it. It was awesome. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. The football team is one just huge family. Everyone loves each other. The coaches are just so awesome. It was a blast. I really loved it. Going back to that last game against Eastside Catholic we gave it our all but they were a good team. They were a really good team.
Q: Is school fun? Are you taking any good classes right now?
A: I’m doing some math and chemistry. I really, really enjoy math and chemistry. I’m taking physics next year and calculus. I want to do that in college. My main goal is to become a mechanical engineer if sports doesn’t work out. Definitely looking toward the future rather than sports because not everybody makes it to the big leagues.
Q: Have you started looking at schools or is it still a bit early for that?
A: Yeah. This is a big, big shot, but me and my mom are actually going down to visit Yale on I think June 28th. I’m doing a (football) camp down there. I’ve been talking to (MP Assistant) Coach (Scott) Stokes, who is also my counselor, and he’s been emailing them back and forth a little bit. I got a letter from the football coach so I’m going down there to do a kicking camp. And then my brother goes to Wazzu (Washington State University), so I kind of understand what that’s about, and we each visited the University of Idaho. I’m also looking at some of the Oregon schools like the (University of Oregon) Ducks and Oregon State. But if it could happen I’d love to go to Yale. That would be an amazing experience.
Q: When you’re not in school, or playing football and soccer, what do you like to do in your free time?
A: I think it was like three years ago my dad got me into racing dirt bikes and it’s just a blast. It just lets me be myself and allows me to be free. No stress out there. Even though it’s kind of a risky sport. Right now I do an off-road series. Half of the series is on the west side of Washington and the other half is on the east side. I actually have a race this Sunday (April 28th) and it’s in eastern Washington. I think it’s near Walla Walla. The classes range from the A-class down to the D-class, I think, and right now I’m in the B-class because I got third place last year so I moved up. Hopefully, I can move up again.
Q: What’s a race like? Is it pretty intense?
A: Yeah. There’s usually 20 people on the starting line. Right now I’m racing against high-20, low-30-year-old people. Me and this kid from Bellingham named Cory are like the youngest people out there. We’re both 17. Since I moved up a class I’m racing a two-and-a-half hour race and it’s off road, so the east side is more desert-y, kind of open. You do as many laps as you can in the time given. And then on the west side it’s more (traveling on) trails in the mountains and stuff like that. That’s a lot harder. It’s a lot harder on your body.
Q: Have you ever won a race?
A: The best I’ve done was last year I got second place in the Frostbite. And that was just incredible because that was my second race ever. That was a really, really good experience.
Q: So if football, soccer and engineering don’t work out you’ll always have racing to fall back on.
A: Yeah. It’s just a fun experience. It’s a good time with my dad. My brother is not really into that stuff so it’s like me and my dad just get away and have fun. Eventually, if I was an engineer, I could be part of a team and help with everything.