BREMERTON, WA— (KitsapPumas.com release) Kitsap continued to add to its roster this week by signing Ash Apollon. Apollon-a highly talented and dynamic attacking threat, is the second player to be signed to the Puma’s roster out of Peninsula Community College (PC) this season.
PC has quickly become one of the top men’s community college soccer programs in the nation. Due to their recent dominance in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) and their close vicinity to Kitsap, they have become somewhat of a steady pipeline of talent to the Pumas.
The Pumas partnership with PC has not only led to Apollon and Brazilian goalkeeper Gee Avelar being signed, but it has also produced players such as Miguel Gonzalez and Daniel Gonzalez who played instrumental roles in the Puma’s run to the Premier Development League (PDL) national title game this past season.
Although Apollon did not start playing soccer until he was sixteen years old, he has quickly become one of the top prospects out of the Northwest region for his electrifying play in the NWAC.
“Growing up in Boston, Massachusetts I really only played baseball and basketball. But after we moved down to Haiti to live with my dad, who was a professional soccer player and made appearances with the Haitian national team, he didn’t waste any time in getting me interested in the game.”
After playing for a local youth club in Haiti named Union-MAC, Apollon moved back to the United States to pursue a career as a professional soccer player.
“When I came back to America I didn’t know much about the process of playing professionally or collegiately. So I was just training and living in Portland preparing for my opportunity. One day at the grocery store I randomly ran into the Peninsula College staff, we talked and their coach ended up asking me to come out to their college for a visit. Once I was there I immediately loved the program and when they offered me a scholarship I took it without hesitation.”
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Although Apollon was seemingly fatefully fortunate to find his way onto the PC roster, he didn’t waste any time in making a huge impact once on the field. During his time playing for PC in 2013, Apollon scored an impressive 16 goals and led the entire NWAC in assists with 15.
With the help of Apollon’s prolific scoring record, PC went on to have an undefeated season en route to winning their third NWAC championship in four years.
After his year at Peninsula and playing a few games for the Puget Sound Gunners-who compete in the same division of the PDL as the Pumas-Apollon elected to forgo his second year at PC and pursue a professional contract in Thailand.
Apollon was signed by Bangkok FC of the Thailand Premier League before being loaned to a second division team by the name of Grakcu Looktabfah FC. During his time there Apollon continued his scoring ways by netting 12 goals and having 9 assists in only nine games.
However, after his successful time in Thailand Apollon found himself wanting to be closer to home so he elected to come back to the United States to pursue his dream here.
“Growing up my family moved around a lot so it was always tough to really say where my home was” Apollon recalled. “However when I moved to Washington to attend Peninsula I finally felt like I found it. It didn’t take me long to find happiness there and I believe Kitsap will provide the same feelings for me.”
Even though Apollon has followed his dream around the world and back, he is no stranger to the Pumas organization. He competed against the Pumas both while playing for PC and for the Puget Sound Gunners this past PDL season.
“I could tell right away that Kitsap was a quality side and organization” Apollon said. “I am very familiar with the club and I think that the fact that they are so well respected across the nation will be a great step for me at this point in my career.”
Although Apollon has big goals for his career, he is not looking past the challenges of this upcoming season.
“For me the upcoming season is always most important” Apollon said. “The PDL is a very competitive league, especially the Northwest Division we compete in, and I know it will not be easy to bring back another national title. But at the same time I hope to use my time here to continue growing as a player, prove that I can play at a high level and in the process help the club grow.”
In order to help the Pumas bring back the national title that so narrowly eluded them this past season, Apollon realizes that he must do his part to contribute both on and off the field.
“Overall any team I play with I pride myself on being an excellent teammate” Apollon said. “I always stay positive and try to build my teammates up whenever I can. And when it comes to games I rely on my speed, strength and skill to be a handful for any defense.”
Head Coach Cameron McDonald is equally hopeful for the impact Apollon will bring to the Pumas attack this coming season.
“I’m delighted to have Ash on board this season. He’s an exciting player and will cause real problems for opposition defenders. I have no doubt if he has a successful season with us he will go on to play at a higher level.”
Although Apollon will certainly be a very entertaining and important signing for the Pumas, he has nothing but gratitude for the opportunity ahead of him.
“I am so excited to start playing with this club already; I wish the league started tomorrow!” Apollon said. “I’ve always looked up to this organization and I am very grateful that they see me as a player who can bring something positive to this club.”