“Basically it comes down to finances,” OC Athletic Director Barry Janusch told the Sun. “Elimination of a sport is the very last thing we wanted to do.”
The move leaves the entire county without organized upper level soccer for women. The men’s game is damaged in terms of roster opportunites but there is hope that perhaps the local Evergreen Premier Club, currently called WestSound FC Men, might grow into a larger opportunity for local guys. Kitsap does have an adult soccer league, the KASL.
Social media spread the news quickly with those formerly involved with the program feeling like they had been punched in the gut. Former players and coaches reacted with anger, sadness and disbelief on Facebook.
“This is sad,” Alex Garza posted. “OC opened up big windows for me. OC gave me the chance to move onto Pierce and then from Pierce a chance to play a little Semi-Pro in Colorado. I even got into club coaching and have been and just landed my first head job at a 5A high school in Colorado. As I reflect, I have OC to thank for leading me in this direction. Very sad to hear about this.” Goalkeeper Garza was from 2,400-student South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard and played for the Rangers in 2009.
Tyson Ellis (2008, 2009) posted: “Sad to see it go. Had a good couple years there and it gave a bunch of us a chance to keep playing.”
The school employed one head coach to cover both teams, Randy Lund. Now Lund says he has a new job that involves his kids, finding them schools to transfer to. He tells the Sun:
“When I recruited them, I told them they would be playing for us for two years. Now they are not. I feel obligated to help them.”