Sunday, April 19, 2015

Back in Blue: 13 players set for Shadow return as others move on

Adam Talley (center) is back for the Shadow attack  -  Training Gallery [+]
The Spokane Shadow kicked off preseason training last week and have chosen a base group of 13 returning players to build off of for the 2015 Evergreen Premier League season. The reigning champions have lined up a number of returning players from local Whitworth University in addition to a handful of recent high school graduates returning from their first year of college.

Matt Bray (L) and Colin Shockman (R) 
Among the list of the 13 players recently announced by the Shadow are Whitworth's veteran defensive duo of Matt Bray (Mead HS) and Colin Shockman (Mead HS) along with the Pirates' striker Karl Muelheims (St George's HS).

Another local collegiate player returning is defender Dustin Ferger (East Valley HS) of Gonzaga University, while Muelheims will be joined in the attack by returning speedster Adam Talley (East Valley HS), who is headed to Western Washington University this fall after two years at North Idaho College. With his move to WWU, Talley will be joining Shadow defender Derek Zimmerman (Pasco HS), who is also slated for a return.

Pete Peterson
Joe Scott (Cheney HS) is slated to return as part of the goalkeeping crew after playing at MSU-Billings. Also returning home are his former Blackhawk teammates Micah Weller and Trevan Estrellado from Peninsula College. CC Spokane standout Devin Leon, a native of California, will be staying in Spokane for the summer before making the move to Biola University in the fall.

Helping lead the team will be veteran midfielder Pete Peterson (Gonzaga University, Central Valley HS). Peterson will be instrumental in managing the midfield for the Shadow as the team takes shape minus 2014 standouts Nick Hamer and Mike Ramos.

Ramos (25) and Hamer (6) celebrate in Kitsap friendly
Recent Gonzaga grad Nick Hamer has signed a professional deal with the Kitsap Pumas of the USL Premier Development League for the season along with Toronto FC draftee Ramos, who was the second leading scorer in EPLWA last season.

In addition to Hamer and Ramos, several other players have made commitments elsewhere for 2015. Graduating Whitworth striker Sam Engle will be playing for the PDL's Lane United in Eugene, Oregon this summer in conjunction with an unrelated internship in the area. He will be joining Post Falls standout Timmy Mueller, who, after an impressive freshman season at Oregon State, is reportedly remaining in the area with a Beaver teammate to play for the PDL side.

Other players returning to the mix are defenders Ben Thompson (Lewis & Clark HS) and Matt Beaulaurier (Ferris HS). Thompson is back from starting as a freshman for University of Redlands while Beaulaurier was a regular for St Martin's University.

Coach Chad Brown has already indicated the team will again feature a group of players from Gonzaga University and is in discussions with a number of area players of note that could be joining the roster over the coming weeks as they prepare for their season opener Sunday May 3 in Wenatchee. In addition to the usual May 1 availability for Division I players (affecting Gonzaga and others), the Whitworth undergraduates will not be available until after the team's annual Alumni match, scheduled for May 2, that concludes the program's spring training schedule.

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