Pam Pack boys closing in on eighth straight title

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

If Washington High School boys soccer coach Jim Kozuch got a ring every time his team won a conference championship, he would be running out of fingers.

The Pam Pack has rolled through the COVID-19 shortened and delayed season without a stumble on the way to a 10-0 record and a home date with Greene Central Thursday afternoon with another title on the line.

WHS has outscored their opponents, 62-7, with the Greene Central match (3-2) being their closest.

The kicker is all but one of the contests has been on the road, because of wet field conditions at Washington High School.

“Playing away hasn’t bothered us very much, although the kids are a little disappointed that more fans haven’t been able to watch them play,” Kozuch said. “We have our after school routine down and there is no time to mess around. It’s been get out of class, pack up, get on the bus and go. We have it down pretty well at this point and it will be good preparation for the playoffs.”

The 15-year head coach calls this squad a little young by his standards, as he starts five sophomores and a freshman. Seniors Brandon Cox and Seth Davis along with junior Bryan Martinez have been solid in the midfield and provided a solid defense in front of sophomore goalkeeper Rogelio Cano, who has only allowed two goals, both to Greene Central, all year.

“Rogelio has been outstanding all season for us and Brandon, Seth and Bryan have done great as well,” Kozuch said. “This group has overcome not having an off-season training program (because of COVID-19), dealing with wearing a mask while playing and the miserable weather we’ve had so far this spring. It seems like it’s been cold, wet and windy almost every day we’ve practiced or played. Greene Central is an excellent team and I’m glad we are home against them this time.”

The Rams are 9-1 with the only loss to the Pam Pack and have outscored their opponents 83-9 with six shutouts. The teams square off at 4 p.m. on senior day in the last of three games in four days this week to end the regular season. Seniors Cox, Davis, Miguel Gachuz, Luis Ramirez and Ethan Sommers will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

Fundraising for the new WHS soccer field will resume soon after a break during the pandemic according to Kozuch.

“We have a great drainage and irrigation system already in and we’ve been approved for fencing,” he said. “That’s all we need to play on it, but we’re going to have bleachers and a scoreboard as well. It’s a beautiful field and we are looking forward to playing on it as soon as we can.”