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Will to win: Ukiah/Long Creek soccer team wraps up successful season

Eleven athletes, including seven foreign exchange students, team up for soccer.
Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on November 10, 2017 5:28PM

The Ukiah/Long Creek soccer team stands with their coach Amos Studtmann. Front row, from left, Fernando Casillas and Rafael Gumerato; middle, coach Amos Studtmann, Ryoturo Okada, Mike Donggyu, Chuen Sooksomchitra, Aaron Garinger; back row, Luka Pesic, Thomas Kreamier, James Kreamier, Josh Konig and Jaime Ballesteros.

Contributed photo/Linda Studtmann

The Ukiah/Long Creek soccer team stands with their coach Amos Studtmann. Front row, from left, Fernando Casillas and Rafael Gumerato; middle, coach Amos Studtmann, Ryoturo Okada, Mike Donggyu, Chuen Sooksomchitra, Aaron Garinger; back row, Luka Pesic, Thomas Kreamier, James Kreamier, Josh Konig and Jaime Ballesteros.

Ukiah/Long Creek player Rafael Gumerato (10) moves the ball up field against Four Rivers.

Contributed photo/Linda Studtmann

Ukiah/Long Creek player Rafael Gumerato (10) moves the ball up field against Four Rivers.

Ukiah/Long Creek’s Ryotaro Okada overtakes the ball from Lili Diaz (2) in a soccer game this season.

Contributed photo/Linda Studtmann

Ukiah/Long Creek’s Ryotaro Okada overtakes the ball from Lili Diaz (2) in a soccer game this season.

The Ukiah/Long Creek soccer team stands with their coach Amos Studtmann.

Contributed photo/Linda Studtmann

The Ukiah/Long Creek soccer team stands with their coach Amos Studtmann.

Ukiah/Long Creek Mountain Lion Josh Konig passes the ball in one of team’s soccer matches this season.

Contributed photo/Linda Studtmann

Ukiah/Long Creek Mountain Lion Josh Konig passes the ball in one of team’s soccer matches this season.


The entire Ukiah/Long Creek Mountain Lions soccer team bleached their hair, signifying a successful season.

Each of the 11 players agreed, if they won three matches, they would all dye their hair. They won three and tied two, with no losses.

Led by coach Amos Studtmann, the 1A junior varsity team of 11 was comprised of four local athletes, two freshmen and two sophomores, and seven foreign exchange students, six juniors and one senior.

Most players joined the team having little experience with soccer, including the coach, who said he had help learning more of the sport from the experienced players.

“I did a lot of reading to go along with it,” Studtmann said. “This is my first year coaching soccer, and any success the kids had was ‘their fault.’”

The Mountain Lions started the season Sept. 13 with a 1-1 tie against Riverside.

Their second match was a 9-2 win over Dayton, Washington.

ULC followed up with a 7-2 win Oct. 14 over Four Rivers Secondary School (Ontario), then a 2-2 tie Oct. 17 against Riverside.

Their final match was a 12-0 victory over Four Rivers Oct. 19 in Long Creek.

ULC player Jaime Ballesteros of Spain, who has played soccer for 12 years, was key in sharing soccer techniques with his teammates.

“In Spain, I played all my life because that is the sport,” he said. “Some players couldn’t keep the ball, so I taught them how they can keep the ball and move on the field. It was cool to teach them.”

He said they started with just five on the team with soccer experience.

“We played hard, and we played against good teams,” he said. “With only 11 players, we didn’t lose in all the soccer season. Now we are good friends.”

At the end of the season, Ballesteros was named Most Valuable Player for the Mountain Lions.

Fernando Casillas of Mexico was given the Coach’s Award for character and sportsmanship.

“He had just a couple years of experience, but he had the best attitude and was the least selfish player I’ve ever met,” Studtmann said.

Thomas Kreamier was named Rookie of the Year.

“He (Thomas) had no experience and still managed to contribute two goals and was moving all over the field with good passing, shooting and defense,” the coach said.

The team captain was Rafael Gumerato of Brazil.

Gumerato said he’d played soccer when he was younger, but his main sport is basketball.

“It was good to see the players improve and play with heart,” he said.

The coach said the players just met this year, and the key to their success was their positive attitudes and determination.

“The kids worked together unselfishly for offense and gave their everything on defense,” he said.

He said they gave their all, both in practice and at the games.

“I would think any team would set a goal to have a winning season. My goal is always for character first and athletic success later — they did that,” Studtmann said. “We had a great year, and assuming all goes well, we look forward to a great season next year.”









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