Thunder Mountain High School senior captain Preston Lam (10), shown in early season action against JDHS senior Kean Buss (5), was credited by coaches for defensive play at West Anchorage last weekend. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain High School senior captain Preston Lam (10), shown in early season action against JDHS senior Kean Buss (5), was credited by coaches for defensive play at West Anchorage last weekend. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire File)

Falcons soccer boys end season on the road

Thunder Mountain coaches describe final match.

The Thunder Mountain High School boys soccer team had nothing to gain with their final match of the season as its hopes for a state championship bid ended last week.

So the Falcons set their goals high and played the ASAA Division I State Tournament’s fifth seed West Anchorage Eagles on the road Friday.

According to TMHS coaches, the defense was led by senior Preston Lam and the Falcons were able to hold the Eagles to a 2-0 game at half.

TMHS had excellent offensive chances by sophomore Kajson Cunningham after classmate Casey Knapp applied pressure to West for possession and junior Justin Scussel helped steady the back line with excellent containment, keeping the Eagles talented offense at bay.

West regrouped at half time, scoring five goals to win 7-0. The Falcons had landed just a few hours prior to kickoff and were missing several key players, but the coaches were pleased with the effort and learning opportunity against a quality West team.

On Saturday, the Redington Huskies forfeited due to lack of players so the two sides played 7-v-7 to start the game. Seniors started the game and liberal substitutions to gave all players the opportunity to play.

TMHS led 6-0 at the half on two goals from senior Matthew Spratt and one goal each from Cunningham, Lam and junior Reese Kugelmann. Junior Dawson Menz had one assist from the goalkeeper position, Lam added two assists, Spratt and Scussel one apiece.

The teams switched to a scrimmage after half time with the Falcons giving the Huskies their four seniors and starting goalkeeper.

The second half was an exciting opportunity for Falcons freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to play against their graduating teammates. The game ended 7-1 with Cunningham scoring a beautiful 20-yard low shot on the right corner in the second half.

In a joint statement the coaches said, “We are very proud of our kids and the work they put in the classroom and on the field this year. They represented their school and the Juneau community well. We are excited about what this group will do next year. We will miss the outgoing seniors. They are a great group of kids, and all have bright futures ahead of them.”

Coaches Senior Reports:

Stig Cunningham – This kid puts his head down and gets to work. The first time I ever met Stig was before the first game against Ketchikan back in the 2021 season. I was clearing sidelines of snow and watched this kid practicing all by himself in front of the goal. I went up to him and made introductions and invited him to join the team for the season. He declined due to injury but said that he would come out next year. He stuck to his word and even brought his “little” brother along with him.

Ben Erickson – One of our senior captains, Ben started out under a group of 2 talented upperclassmen groups and pushed himself to compete for a starting spot his junior year. One of his defining moments was when he subbed in for his injured older brother in the 2021 championship game and then made sure he stayed on the pitch for the rest of his high school career.

Preston Lam – The P for Preston also stands for passion. He is one of the most driven kids I’ve ever met and was always up for any task, big or small. Preston came in as a sophomore and immediately made his presence felt. He formed a formidable on-field bond with his older brother, Phillip and Ammon Kawakami for a couple of years. This year, Preston took the leadership opportunity presented to him and was always present and supportive of his peers.

Tristan Laremore – A newcomer his senior year, Tristan displayed leadership in his own way. He always volunteered for tasks and never complained. His attitude was a model for his peers.

Matthew Spratt – A converted defender from striker, Spratt stepped up to the challenge this year to put his mark on the game. He eventually got some time to shine up top but his team-first attitude to play where we needed him was appreciated.

MJ Tupou – When we were able to finally drag him off of a basketball court, we were rewarded with a ready to do anything attitude. While this usually landed him on defense, he took some spells at striker and was a true team player, willing to do whatever we needed to help the team at any time.

More in Sports

Barn swallows firmly attach their nests to walls, so they support the weight of nestlings and visiting adults.  (Photo by Bob Amrstrong)
On the Trails: Spring to summer

Spring temperatures were cool this year, but the lengthening days gave birds… Continue reading

In the spirit of Dolly Parton’s country music roots, race participant Mendenhall River Community School Principal Eric Filardi runs in costume with young Lucy Vogel wearing heart-shaped sunglasses as they enjoy the sunny Saturday weather on the Airport Dike Trail race course. About 85 runners participated, many wearing pearls and pink hats provided at the starting tent. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Busting out the pink and pearls at the first Dolly Dash

Dolly Parton-inspired fun run raises funds for free books for kids.

People often use sea ice, as seen here off Alaska’s northern coast outside the town of Utqiagvik, for travelling. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Did sea ice help populate the Americas?

Human footprints preserved in mud at White Sands National Park in New… Continue reading

A cruise ship makes its way through early morning fog last summer. The passengers who have been arriving lately have not been experiencing similar tranquility. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Racing the weather

Daylight is unstoppable this time of year. Not like up in the… Continue reading

Juneau’s Nate Fick leaps to make a catch while another Eagle River run scores during the opening game Thursday of the Division I Alaska School Activities Association Baseball State Championships. (Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report)
Crimson Bears finish sixth at state baseball tournament, coach calls season promising for young team

JDHS loses to Chugiak in consolation finale; scenarios for next season expand due to TMHS merger.

Brown-headed cowbirds are professional egg-dumpers, always parasitizing the nests of other species. (CC BY 2.0 public domain photo).
On the Trails: Egg dumping behavior

Egg-dumping refers to the behavior of a female who puts her eggs… Continue reading

Members of the Thunder Mountain High School softball team pose for a shot following their 18-0 victory against North Pole High School on Friday during the Division II Alaska School Activities Association Softball State Championships in Fairbanks. (Thunder Mountain Softball photo)
Final flight of the TMHS Falcons ends with 6-4 loss on final day of state softball tournament

“It’s been a fun ride,” coach says as team wins conference title, goes 29-12 during its final season.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé’s Landon Simonson is greeted at home after hitting a grand slam on Friday during the Division I Alaska School Activities Association Baseball State Championships in Anchorage. (Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report)
JDHS baseball, TMHS softball teams make it to final day of state tournaments

Crimson Bears play for consolation title after grand slam win Friday; Falcons still in title hunt

The Fairbanks Experimental Farm on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus opened in 1906. (UAF photo by Todd Paris, taken in September 2014)
Alaska Science Forum: The gardening potential of the Last Frontier

More than 100 years ago, a man traveled north on a mission… Continue reading

Thunder Mountain High School’s Ashlyn Gates, seen here pitching against Sitka High School during the Region V softball conference tournament last Saturday in Juneau, was named player of the game in an 8-0 win over Delta Junction High School to open the state softball title tournament on Thursday in Fairbanks. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire file photo)
TMHS wins state softball tournament openers 8-0, 16-1; JDHS falls short in baseball title quest

Falcons face Kodiak High School on Friday, Crimson Bears play consolation game against Colony.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé’s Ida Meyer (301) and Etta Eller (294) lead the 3,200 at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Track and Field State Championships on Saturday. (Pete Pounds / Alaska Sports Report)
JDHS’ Etta Eller takes gold, Ida Meyer silver in 3,200 at state track and field championships

Eller also wins 1,600; Wilder Dillingham wins 200 during event in Anchorage.

An orange-crowned warbler looks for bugs on a willow (Photo by K.M. Hocker)