YAKIMA, Wash. -- The main storyline in boys high school soccer this season is change.
New teams in new leagues, new coaches, and new players in new positions.
The biggest change would be the reorganization of the largest two classes.
The new-look Columbia Basin Big Nine becomes a mostly Class 4A league with the loss of the Tri-Cities-area schools to the new Mid-Columbia League.
Eastmont, which finished third in the Class 3A state tournament last season, is also moving up to join the 4A ranks and figures to challenge for the league title.
“Not playing the Tri-Cities teams of Richland and Chiawana will be a loss of quality games,” Eisenhower coach Tyler Suhm said in an email. “However the addition of Eastmont and Sunnyside will bring quality competition.”
Davis’ Jetzael Marmolejo, one of the Pirates’ top offensive weapons last season will be moving to defense to help cover the loss of graduated all-leaguer Jhonny Mendoza.
All this change means there will be a feeling-out period early in the season.
“I don’t really know who the favorite is,” Davis coach Armando Garcia said. “All the teams that stayed in our league are tough. It’s a very tough league.”
Sunnyside, in addition to playing league games against 4A foes, will have a new coach in David Guevara.
In the Class 2A ranks, West Valley joins the CWAC, replacing Quincy which moved to the Class 1A Caribou Trail League.
But because it’s boys soccer, moving down a classification doesn’t mean life will be any easier for the Rams.
They trade in tough teams like Pasco and Kennewick for equally stout opposition such as Toppenish — which was 9-0 last season in the CWAC — and Othello, which qualified for state.
In Class 1A the biggest change is at Naches Valley, where William Barber takes over as coach.
Highland figures to be the cream of the crop in the SCAC, where the Scotties have already beaten league rival Wahluke.