The women’s soccer team will feature a new outlook this fall, and have a distinctly Spokane Valley flair to it as well.
Beneath the Red and Black of EWU will be the sky blue of Central Valley.
Three former Lady Bears will be on first-year coach Chad Bodnar’s roster: Paige Gallaway, Laci Rennaker and Savannah Hoekstra. And former University midfielder/forward Shayla Weiler, too, will be part of the Eagles mix.
Bodnar earned a sterling reputation as an area community college coach, turning Walla Walla Community College into a regional power. He was hired in December to replace George Hageage, who stepped down after 14 seasons in Cheney.
In 10 seasons as the WWCC head coach, Bodnar’s teams posted a record of 210 wins, 15 losses and 11 ties, winning nine East Region titles and three Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges crowns.
EWU, meanwhile, hasn’t posted a winning record since 2007.
A graduate of Pasco High, Bodnar arrives in Cheney with a reputation for developing talent.
Weiler, entering her junior season, already has played a good deal for the Eagles, getting into 16 games in each of her first two seasons – starting four games a year ago. Weiler was an All-Greater Spokane League selection four times at U-Hi, leading the GSL in assists as a sophomore and earning All-GSL first-team honors as a senior.
Paige Gallaway got into just eight games as a freshman a year ago after being slowed by a broken bone in her foot before the start of practices at EWU.
Rennaker, a sophomore defender, did not play as a freshman, but she and Gallaway have been teammates since they started playing the game.
Hoekstra arrives at Eastern after helping the Lady Bears win the state Class 4A championship a year ago.
At 5-feet-10 and possessing sprinter’s speed, Hoekstra is the kind of player who gives opposing defenses nightmares: fast enough to run onto balls, skilled enough to do damage once she gets possession, and tall enough to do damage on set pieces.
A Knight among the Cards
East Valley’s Adam Talley made headlines in two sports as a high school athlete – starring in football and soccer for the Knights.
After abruptly leaving the football team his senior season, Talley took his soccer skills to North Idaho College a year ago.
Talley helped the Cardinals reach the post season a year ago, and over the summer he helped the Spokane Shadow capture the Evergreen Premier League championship in their first season in the league.
Brown comes home Aug. 30
West Valley graduate Nick Brown heads into his senior season at Montana Western, where he’s a three-year starter at left tackle and a two-time All-Frontier Conference honoree.
The Bulldogs take on Eastern Washington in Cheney in the Eagles home opener on Aug. 30. It will be Brown’s first game in the greater Spokane area since he graduated from West Valley.
Phelan heads to Whitworth
East Valley’s J.T. Phelan will take his football talents to Whitworth beginning this month.
The All-Great Northern League wide receiver was a multisport standout in high school. He’s part of a group of 45 newcomers to the Whitworth program for first-year head coach Rob Sandberg.