Sister act leads Chargers’ surge

MARYSVILLE — Building a sports program at a new school can take time.

The Marysville Getchell girls soccer team has gone through its share of growing pains, finishing with a sub .500 record in each of its first two seasons. The 2013 season didn’t start well either. The Chargers suffered a 2-0 loss to Bellingham in the opener.

They’ve lost just once since.

“This year I feel like we are progressing the way I would like us to,” Marysville Getchell head coach Wayne Nash said. “For us to come out after that first game and turn it completely around and put up the numbers that we did showed what we can do.”

After losing to Bellingham, the Chargers won five straight and outscored opponents 20-2 in the process.

At 3-1-1 in league and 5-2-1 overall, the Chargers are in second place in the Wesco 3A north behind crosstown rival Marysville Pilchuck (5-0-0, 5-3-0).

Much of MG’s potent scoring attack has come from seniors Kelsee Crenshaw and Bailie Weikel. Crenshaw leads the team in goals with eight and Weikel has chipped in five of her own. The Chargers also have a surrounding cast that doesn’t seem to have a problem putting Crenshaw and Weikel in a position to be successful.

“They (Kelsee and Bailie) came in this season ready to go,” Nash said. “Even more than previous seasons. I was missing a few pieces as far as people who can create opportunities for us to score so Kelsee and Bailie didn’t have to do everything. Several freshmen have provided those other scoring opportunities.”

Two of those freshmen are Kelsee and Bailie’s younger sisters, Gabriella Crenshaw and Lindsey Weikel.

“I feel like they (Gabriella and Lindsey) provide a really good dynamic on the field,” Nash said. “They have a really good connection with their sisters and Kelsee’s sister has a really good connection with Bailie and flip flopped. The cohesiveness is much higher than any other year.”

Having the tools Nash has this year has allowed him to implement the attacking style of offense he is used to.

“The way I coach and the way I play and the way I played growing up was a very offensive style of soccer,” Nash said. “I feel like this year I finally get the opportunity to show them that this style of soccer works.”

Another freshman, Carley Wika, doesn’t do any scoring but she does prevent the opponent from doing so as the team’s goalkeeper also has an older sister on the team, junior defender Marina Wika.

“Some of the hardest players to connect to are your freshmen,” Nash said. “They are still trying to figure out high school and how they fit into the team. Sometimes they don’t get as many playing minutes as they are used to in club (soccer). So to have (older) sisters that can constantly check in with them and make sure that they understand what I’m saying and that they are still connected to the program and everything is amazing.”

The Chargers have not only figured out a winning formula, but they have put themselves in position to do something that no other Marysville Getchell team has done in the school’s four-year existence.

“We have a chance to put the first (championship) banner up in the gym if we can top MP and be (Wesco 3A) North champs,” Nash said. “We could have the first banner up for the entire school ever. The way we are going to do it is to continue to get better and to not put pressure on ourselves, but to make sure that we are not letting up the entire season.”

Perhaps the biggest — and best — sign that the Chargers are ready to compete for that championship is Nash said the team finally has it’s own identity. They no longer see themselves the school that branched off from Marysville Pilchuck.

“I feel like this year it’s truly an MG program,” Nash said. “There is no talk about girls wondering how MP is doing or any focus on MP that’s any different than any other team we face.”

Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at alommers@heraldnet.com.

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