NK Explosion wraps up exceptional season

For the 14 weeks bookended by September and December, the 9- to 11-year-olds on the North Kitsap Explosion ’96 team called the soccer field home. And in their home, they reigned supreme. The under-11 boys’ select team finished the season with a dominant first-place rank in the gold-platinum division, taking top honors over teams from Issaquah, Enumclaw, Tacoma, Redmond, Gig Harbor and North Kitsap.

Their season ended Dec. 15 with 12 wins, one loss and one tie, said team mom Gloria Worland. As a team, they scored 70 goals on the season while holding opponents to only five overall.

Gloria’s son, Alex Worland, who played team goalie, had the luxury of being paired with a strong defense. So strong, in fact, that sometimes he would do the Walter Mitty thing and let his mind wander during games, she said.

“Sometimes I had to tell him to pay attention because the offense was controlling the ball so much,” she said.

Because the team was a select soccer team, they spent a lot of time racking up mileage for matches throughout the season. Every other Saturday, the team traveled to a different locale for a match. The travel meant carpools had to be arranged and Saturdays had to be sacrificed.

The players’ parents and family members understood and willingly undertook the time commitment necessary to make the season successful.

“These little guys really enjoy each other. They’ve played together for a couple of years. They love it, and they work really well together,” she said.

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