Fresh start for upstart Wolves

Good things on this team come in pairs.

Last year, senior Kelsey Hammonds provided the voice of leadership and classmate Brittany Gates provided the finishing kick.

This season, coach Enid Halewyn hopes to see that same kind of 1-2 punch in Sunma Agostine, the team quarterback in the midfield, and more vocal players Anna LaBeaume and Olivia Boots.

Last fall, the Wolves posted a 4-8 Olympic League mark and six wins overall, their best mark since 2004. The first-year coach had the luxury of Gates, Sequim High's top career goal-scorer, and other well-seasoned veterans like Hammonds and Yolanda Chinn.

But graduation took eight players from last season's staff, necessitating a slight revamp of who the Wolves are.

One thing remains unchanged: The ball goes through Agostine, the strong center midfielder who tallied seven goals and her second consecutive all-league honor.

"Sunma is still the distributor, the quarterback," Halewyn said.

The Sequim coach noted that without Gates, who led Sequim with 11 goals in 2007, the Wolves' attacks should come primarily from the outside positions.

Ironically, Agostine played defense on a summer league team while LaBeaume, perhaps the team's strongest defender, played forward this summer.

LaBeaume was named to the All-Olympic League second team in 2007 after helping lead a defense that recorded two shutouts and three one-goal games. Her versatility, Halewyn said, may make it easier to slip her into the midfield and on the attack.

Although the team sees a number of players with varsity experience coming back - Boots, Kyla Hall, Chase O'Neil, Angela Richards, Blaire Maloney - numbers are down this year and the program is struggling to keep two full teams.

Still, Halewyn expects good things to come from this year's Wolves squad, particularly since the team attitude is good. She said she expects good things from new additions Turi Anderson, Meghan Gammel and an improved Amy Oppfelt.

"I couldn't ask for a better group of girls," Halewyn said.

Kaylah Garling starts in goal, although Sequim's coach said freshman Rachel Dewees may push for playing time.

The Wolves figure to be tested early, with dates at Kingston Sept. 23 and at home vs. North Kitsap Sept. 30. Sequim takes on 2007 Olympic League champ Klahowya on Oct. 21.

Sequim High School girls soccer

• 2007 record: 6-10 (4-8 in Olympic League)

• Coaches: Enid Halewyn (head coach, second year), Victor Lancheros (assistant)

• Top returnees: Sunma Agostine, Kyla Hall, Anna LaBeaume, Chase O'Neil, Olivia Boots, Angela Richards, Blaire Maloney

• Top newcomers: Turi Anderson, Meghan Gammel

• Outlook: Losing eight starters doesn't help, but the Wolves return a number of players who racked up varsity time. With Halewyn in her second year as head coach, Agostine controlling the midfield and LaBeaume defending, the Wolves can expect to be more than competitive in a tough Olympic League. A run at a league title may be overshooting, but a .500 record or better is within reach.

• Key dates: Sept. 30 vs. North Kitsap, Oct. 9 at Port Angeles, Oct. 21 vs. Klahowya, Oct. 23 vs. Kingston

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