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Shadle loses top defender

In the end, Takoda Daubel’s leg couldn’t keep up with his heart.

For more than a month, Shadle Park’s star soccer defender dealt with a painful meniscus tear suffered during a tryout Feb. 26 with Spokane Falls Community College.

As the Highlanders’ season began, the meniscus routinely popped out and Daubel’s left leg would collapse inward. Unflinchingly, Daubel would simply “pop it back in” and get on with the match.

“It was painful,” said Daubel, a second-team All-Greater Spokane League defender last year. “But I always was able to pop it back in.”

That is, until a match against West Valley on March 27, when the meniscus refused to pop back in. An MRI exam showed a partly torn meniscus and, shockingly, a fully torn ACL.

“It’s tough to accept the fact that my season is over, but especially because I’m a senior,” said Daubel, whose recovery will take him beyond the fall collegiate season, wherever he might play.

Even before Daubel’s injury, there was plenty of rebuilding ahead for Shadle. The Highlanders were coming off a landmark season, winning the 3A District title for the first time anyone could remember, but losing 12 seniors.

Going into the new season, coach Donavon Hodgson called Daubel “pretty much the anchor of our defense,” but now is getting solid play from senior Austin Hiner.

Shadle is only 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the GSL, but picked up a big 1-0 win last week over 3A rival University.

In that match, senior forward Peter Sokolis, another All-GSL pick last year, dashed in from 30 yards out, drew a foul in the box and converted the penalty himself.

“We just knew that one was going in,” Hodgson said, chuckling.

And Daubel? He’s still on the sideline, cheering on the Highlanders.

“I want to be there for the team,” he said.

Around the GSL

It’s barely past the midpoint of the season, but Gonzaga Prep (2-3 in league, 3-5 overall) needs a win Wednesday at Mead (3-2, 3-4) to stay in the playoff hunt. That’s because only four of the five 4A schools will qualify for district. Ferris and Lewis and Clark are 5-0 and Central Valley is 3-2. … Eric Hollenbaugh of Ferris, fresh off emergency goalkeeping duty in a shootout win at Central Valley on Wednesday, was back at forward two days later in a 4-1 win over Shadle. … CV bounced back with a 6-0 win over North Central as Brock Benzel notched a goal and two assists. … In the 3A ranks, North Central and Rogers (both 0-5 in league play) square off, with the loser likely out of the playoff picture.

Around the GNL

Things looked bleak for West Valley last Friday. The Eagles were coming off a 3-0 loss to Pullman and trailed rival East Valley 2-0 with eight minutes left in a match that had plenty riding on it: third place in the GNL, and, of course, bragging rights. But Chris Lucas scored in the 72nd minute, Brandon Borg equalized two minutes later, and the Eagles (5-3 GNL, 6-6 overall) went on to win in a shootout. East Valley is 4-4 and 4-5.