Beavers Blitz Fishermen for Final District Bid


TENINO — With a second straight district playoff bid on the line for senior night, the Tenino boys soccer team hardly needed any more motivation to send its seniors out with a win Wednesday night at home, dominating from start to finish in a 5-0 demolition of Ilwaco on the Black Top. 

The win means the Beavers have qualified for districts for the second straight year, and will play the 1A Trico’s top seed, Seton Catholic, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the road. The Beavers finish as the No. 4 seed in the 1A Evergreen.

“I challenged them before the game, this is their season,” Beavers head coach Kevin Schultz said. “It’s not about if me as a coach is ready, it’s about if they are ready. I challenged them to rise to the occasion, and they clearly did. We had them under pressure from the beginning of the game.”

The Beavers struck early, and struck often, with Paydon Henderson getting the action going in the fourth minute with a penalty kick goal. 

Still pressing the attack the entire first half, Tyler Minerich came up with a beautiful goal, tapped just inside the far post in the 28th minute, and David Espinoza scored in the 37th minute to round out the first half scoring for Tenino. 

In the second half, Max Craig scored in the 47th minute off a couple of taps in the air from Henderson, and Triston Whitaker scored the Beavers’ last goal in the 68th minute. Henderson assisted each of the last three goals. 

“We finally got our attack going,” Schultz said. “We moved the ball well, we shared the ball well, we had a lot of different players getting after it. Happy with how we played the game, being goal dangerous from the very first minute.”

Schultz again praised the efforts of Henderson, who scored or assisted on four of Tenino’s goals, and Toby Suess for constantly pushing good balls ahead to the Beavers’ speedy forwards. Though Minerich hasn’t been scoring as often as he did at the beginning of the year, Schultz said he controlled the pace well today and was incredibly active. 

The coach also shouted out defender Zach Byer for a strong game against some fast and tough Fishermen forwards. 

The Beaver seniors who played their last game on the Black Top were Henderson, Suess, Braxton Williams, Cash Gallaher, and Byer. 

Now the Beavers will look forward to their toughest test of the season yet, a date with one of the top soccer programs in the area in Seton Catholic. 

“They’re going to be good,” Schultz said. “We’re going to have to work our tails off, increase our intensity. Tonight our intensity was really, really good. We were very consistent tonight, we have to bring that consistency. We’re going to have to defend a little bit. We’re going to have to be prepared to defend and look to attack quickly.”