KELLOGG — The Kellogg Wildcats soccer team recently wrapped up their season at the 3A District I tournament.
While their season may have not gone the way they planned, the Wildcats were able to nab two spots on the Intermountain All-League team, as well as having the IML coach of the year.
Seniors Taeya Sheppard and Shea Curran got their second consecutive all league nominations, while coach Craig Petersen nabbed the coach of the year award.
Curran spent her time at both the keeper position as well as defense, while Sheppard spent the majority of her time at the center-mid spot as one of the more reliable defenders and as the Wildcats’ best scorer.
“It was nice to be able to be on the field more and not just in the goal,” Curran said. “I enjoyed being in the goal, but it’s just different when you can get out on the field and help your team in so many different ways.”
Sheppard led her team in scoring, but also had to be one of the team’s defensive anchors.
“We changed our formation this year, which had me play a lot of defensive-mid,” Sheppard said. “But I usually was switched up to center-mid at halftime.”
Sweeping Bonners Ferry and getting key Intermountain League wins were all part of the team’s season, but both Curran and Sheppard think there was probably a little bit more the team could have accomplished.
“Our team reflected our skill set, which is kinda frustrating when you see how the season went,” Curran said. “We definitely could have won a few more games including our district game, but we just couldn’t get there for some reason.”
That’s not to say that they are upset with their team. Despite the shortcomings this team was a positive experience for them both.
“This team was great because we didn’t have any drama,” Sheppard said. “We had a lot of fun, and we wanted to play for coach because he made soccer fun. It wasn’t just about winning.”
Petersen has coached at Kellogg for five seasons, and Curran and Sheppard have been almost constants for him, which means he is about to lose his most tenured and experienced players.
“We’re going to miss their leadership, both on and off the field,” Petersen said. “These were probably my two most competitive athletes which is something I hope will translate to the younger kids. As seniors, when soccer is over, it hits you. There is no more coming back. I hope the other kids see that.”
As for winning the coach of the year award, Petersen wasn’t expecting the award in any regard, and was his ever-humble self upon receiving it.
“I was surprised to hear that I had won it, pretty humbled too,” Petersen said. “Based on our results it wasn’t anything I saw coming. It’s a nice way to end the season, to be acknowledged both for myself and for these two girls. I think our sportsmanship is also a testament to how we coach and play here in Kellogg.”