JDHS player Gabe Cheng drives down the field with the ball during a tight game against TMHS on April 23, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS player Gabe Cheng drives down the field with the ball during a tight game against TMHS on April 23, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

TMHS and JDHS tie 4-4 in fierce match

It’s been a bruising and competitive season so far.

The boys soccer teams of Juneau fought to a draw Saturday, ending with a 4-4 tie game.

The game comes in the early-to-mid season for what should be a contentious season of soccer, said Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé coach Gary Lehnhart.

“I think they’re all going to be like that. These kids have known each other a long time and they used to play together. It’s a good rivalry,” Lehnhart said in a phone interview. “I think each game is going to be close. The first two certainly have been. Both have gone right to the last second.”

[2022 cruise season begins]

JDHS has two wins and two ties this season so far, against TMHS’ 1-1-1 record.

“It was by far better than our first game. We had a massive chemistry disruption. It was heads over tails better. It was hard-fought, hard-pace, high-intensity,” said Thunder Mountain High School assistant coach Josh Odom in a phone interview. “It was the hard first loss that brought them together. They expected more of themselves.”

JDHS and TMHS fought to a deadlocked 4-4 tie on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS and TMHS fought to a deadlocked 4-4 tie on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

TMHS led 2-1 at the half as both teams vied for the win.

“We just had our two game stretch in Ketchikan. They were physical games. We’re four games into the season and we’ve won two and tied two. We feel like we’ve gotten off to a good start,” Lehnhart said. “It’s always hard to play in Ketchikan and come back and play the next day.”

JDHS is fielding a class-balanced team this year, Lehnhart said.

“Last year we were really really young. We only graduated two seniors. This year we have a pretty good senior class. We have a nice mix to be honest. We have a couple freshman starting which is unusual. We have a strong junior class which is the core,” Lehnhart said. “I think the future is bright. The JVs started well. It’s one of the best freshman classes we’ve had in a few years. Feeling good about that.”

TMHS is more senior heavy at the moment, Odom said, predicting a transitional year next year.

“We’re losing quite a bit of our upperclassmen next year. Ideally, we’re trying to get a lot of exposure for our younger kids,” Odom said. “We had two or three underclassmen play in that last game. They’ve got big shoes to fill. They’ve got to take the reins.”

This week will be a week for recuperating and readying for the next game, Lehnhart said, as players come back from injuries and focuses on improving their coordination and arrangement. Two major players, including the team’s starting goalkeeper, are already out for the season from injuries, Lehnhart said.

“Four goals is too many. That’s the first thing. We need to shore that up and not put ourselves in a position where we have to score four. That’s part of what happens when you lose a couple kids,” Lehnhart said. “We’ve got a bit of a lighter week this week. We’ll get healthy and retool a bit.”

For TMHS, Odom said, next year will be a very different equation as the team loses many of its upperclassmen.

“The next year is going to be the big one. It’ll be a fundamental year,” Odom said. “It’ll be a transitional year for sure.”

At JDHS, eagerness is running high for the rest of the season, which will see another Saturday match against TMHS, and a weekend of games in Anchorage the following weekend.

“In this program, the goal is always to win it all. We’ve been in the final game, for the 20 years it’s been run, maybe 13-14 times,” Lehnhart said. “That’s always the goal. To get to that final game and win it.”

The next week will be a big one, Odom said, with many teams tied in their wins, losses, and ties.

“Everything is tied up for everyone going in,” Odom said. “This is going to be the tell all week, This is the big week for the season.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in Sports

Fresh snow covers the surface of Eaglecrest Ski Area on Friday morning. General Manager Dave Scanlan said Thursday the plan is to open the ski area next Saturday. (Webcam photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest manager says things look cool for upcoming season, despite delayed opening

Strong numbers for season pass sales, number of foreign student employees, business leaders told.

The Yukon River, seen here as a wide white band, is freezing later in fall and breaking up earlier in spring than it was a few decades ago. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Long-term views of a changed Alaska

As an instructor for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, I have stood before… Continue reading

A light dusting of snow covers the ground at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Wednesday morning. The planned opening for the ski area has been delayed a week until Saturday, Dec. 9, according to General Manager Dave Scanlan. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest delays scheduled opening by one week until next Saturday, Dec. 9

Warm temperatures and rain dissolved much of ski area’s snowpack, but cold and snow in forecast.

A female robin carries a wad of earthworms to her chicks. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: November gloom and cheers

I like to live where there are seasonal changes in weather and… Continue reading

Participants, many clad in fowl weather gear, head out onto the Airport Dike Trail during the annual Turkey Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on Thursday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Turkey Trot participants thankful for fowl conditions

“Worst weather we’ve had in 10 years” just means burning off more calories.

Kristen Rozell skate skis in Valdez in January 2023. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Surfing in winter on cross-country skis

With mild temperatures and ample snow, much of Alaska is now primed… Continue reading

The author guides his skiff in the direction of muskegs free from digital connectivity, but there is no escaping thoughts of contemporary life. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Freedom of gratitude

I have fumbled for years attempting to put into words what the… Continue reading

(Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Soldotna hockey bounces back against Juneau

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kale loses 3-1 on Saturday after 4-3 win Friday

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Casey Blackwell, 10, crosses the finish line after running 27 laps around the indoor track at Dimond Park Field House to complete the 5K Pajama Jog on Sunday.
Juneau Girls on the Run go the distance during 5K Pajama Jog

Participants finish looking like stars — 27 of them — after completing that many laps around track.

Lance Fenumiai, a Juneau resident seen here carrying the ball in a rugby match for St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania, has signed a Major League Rugby contract with the Dallas Jackals. (Photo courtesy of Lux214 Media Group)
JDHS grad Lance Fenumiai signs pro rugby contract with Dallas Jackals

Former college All-American to spend holidays training intensely for season that starts in February.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Samantha Schwarting and Thunder Mountain High School seniors PJ Foy and Olivia Mills (shown with Glacier Swim Club teammates) sign National Letters of Intent (NLI) on Tuesday at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center to swim and study in college. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)
JDHS’ Schwarting, TMHS’ Foy, Mills sign

Longtime Glacier Swim Club teammates will compete collegiately.

Basketball players face off at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at for a basketball game in December 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Transgender sports ban now in effect, but Juneau and other school districts in no rush to comply

“I’ve never seen such unity against a policy,” local school member says after statewide conference.