Eagle scores perfect hat trick

August 11, 2009

By Katherine Walker

Issaquah junior midfielder Quinn Grisham, leaps up to plant his head on the soccer ball during an April match against Eastlake. File

Issaquah junior midfielder Quinn Grisham, leaps up to plant his head on the soccer ball during an April match against Eastlake. File

In soccer, a “perfect hat trick” is no easy feat. It means that a player scores three goals, one with his head, one with his right foot, and one with his left. Quinn Grisham scored a hat trick in the Issaquah High School Eagles’ qualifying game for the state tournament.

The perfect hat trick is a reflection of Grisham’s triple- threat soccer skills: He is a strong leader, has an eye for scoring goals and is a team player on the field.

The Issaquah Eagles soccer team had a phenomenal 2009 season. They had more wins this year than any other in the history of the program, and the team made it to the state tournament for the first time ever.

“We decided this year we weren’t going to underachieve,” said Grisham, an incoming senior. “We took it a lot more seriously. We set high goals: winning in our league, and making it to state, which we met.”The Eagles lost in the state quarterfinals against Marysville Pilchuck. Marysville had an undefeated season and was a nationally ranked team, making them an especially difficult adversary.

Eagles Coach Jason Lictenberger has been impressed with Grisham’s strength on the field.

“He is a great player and a fantastic leader. … He combines great abilities,” Lictenberger said. “He receives the ball really well, he is able to hold the ball under pressure, and his vision and distribution are great.”

This summer, Grisham is working at Skyhawks summer camp and playing for the Premiere team Crossfire. In his free time he likes to swim, watch movies and hang out with friends. But most of the time, he’s playing soccer.

Grisham scored a total of 10 goals this season.

“I want to work with him to look to go to the goal himself,” Lictenberger said.

Grisham has also been an influential leader for the team and his school. He became a captain on the varsity team his freshman year and is involved with student government.

“He knows how to balance,” Lictenberger said. “He has a really fun, silly side. You can tell he is well liked on campus. He knows when we can joke around… [He is a] player who can be silly, but bring everyone back to business.”

Junpei Tsuji is a co-captain with Grisham on the varsity soccer team. Tsuji plays center midfield and is also an incoming senior. This year was Tsuji’s first year as co-captain.

“I am pretty optimistic, I like to joke around. … I bring comic relief,“ Tsuji said.

Tsuji and Grisham bring different leadership styles to the field.

Grisham “gets really into the game, he’s really passionate,” Tsuji said. “I am there to calm him down. He leads the team with hard work. He hates losing on the field.”

The two captains seem to complement each other well, Grisham providing the passion, drive, and inspiration and Tsuji as the low-key jokester who focuses on the positive, even when things are down.

Looking back on the year, “the missing piece at the end of the year was (that we didn’t) win state,” Tsuji said. “That made going to state bittersweet.”

As for the future, the team has high hopes. Grisham is “very serious about winning it all next year,” Lictenberger said. “Our goal next year is to win state. We have a lot of guys on varsity who are in (their) fourth year starting (on varsity)… We started as freshmen. Now we know what it’s like to go to state. We feel like we can do it next year.”

Katherine Walker is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.

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