Last season, Ferris boys soccer made a terrific run at the state tournament, ending up in fourth place.
With 12 returning seniors, including what coach Robin Crain called his “core of five,” the Saxons were primed for another strong showing in the Greater Spokane League and were serious state title contenders.
“Last year we had 11 (seniors),” Crain said. “These two years were going to be, you know, two of our most successful years in a row, I think.”
One of Crain’s core players was forward Caden Martin, who scored 20 goals with seven assists last season and had 37 goals in three seasons. The two-time all-league selection could have broken the school goals and scoring record this spring.
“I was devastated initially,” Martin said. “Our team was going to be really good this year. All around, from goalkeeper to forward and our coaching staff. It was all really coming together.”
Martin signed to play soccer for Saint Martin’s in Lacey, Washington. He follows his brother Callan, an all-league pick at Ferris, who played at Montana State-Billings.
His mother, Jennifer Druffel Martin, was an All-GSL player for Gonzaga Prep and competed at Washington State and Gonzaga. Caden’s father, Tom, was also all-league at G-Prep and played at University of Portland.
With favorable weather in the spring, Crain – who was entering his 24th season at Ferris – was able to get his team outside for two weeks of training until things were shut down due to the pandemic. He was enthused about how his club was coming together.
“They have never started practice outside,” Crain said. “We lost a lot of really good seniors last year and none of us were really sure of how good we would be. But at the end of the two weeks, the coaches – and the players too, I think – were like, ‘Wow, it could be good.’
“And then, right then, it ended.”
“It was so impactful having the older guys on the squad,” Martin said, “because they can lead the team and have played with each other in the past years growing up from freshman year.”
“Caden was our goal scorer,” Crain said. “It’s tough to teach kids how to score goals, and he’s natural at it.”
Martin led the league in goals and was one of the top scorers in the state.
“I think that for some players, it is more than just physical ability,” Crain said. “It’s an aspect of vision, and it is being able to see things that other players probably wouldn’t notice.”
Crain related a story as testament to Martin’s hard work, even from an early age.
Several years ago, Crain came across a family with younger boys playing on the Ferris field.
“I just went over to talk to them. I said, ‘Hey, just make sure you put the goals back when you’re done and enjoy.’ Later on I figured out that it was Caden and his family. He’s just come out every day to shoot on goal from the time he was a little guy.
“So when I say ‘natural goal scorer,’ there’s a lot of hard work behind it.”
They say for some athletes, the game “slows down” for them.
“I’ve coached kids that are the best athletes – fast, strong,” Crain said. “And, like, they don’t get it. You’re relying completely on athleticism. And then someone else is like, ‘OK, you get it.’ It’s extremely satisfying and it’s really fun to just see it unfold throughout practice or throughout games they’re in, like in the case of Caden.”
But Martin wouldn’t have been a one-player show. Crain lauded fellow seniors Colby Duncan, Leo Cox, McCoy Spink and keeper Jadon Bowton as keys to success.
Cox played alongside Martin at striker, while Duncan was the leader in midfield.
“We wouldn’t have to speak, we just know where we want the ball to be played, and we can play off each other,” he said.
“It really important to have that communication and that natural team chemistry.”
Spink, a defender, and Bowton also starred for the Ferris basketball team over the winter.
“(Bowton) is specialized as a goalkeeper, but he’s as good as anybody else on the field,” Crain said.
Spink might look out of place on the pitch, standing a wiry 6-foot-5.
“Coy presents all sorts of matchup problems for the opposition,” Martin said. “They don’t know how to deal with him.”
Martin said the hardest part of the shutdown is never putting on the Ferris uniform again.
“You only get four years of opportunity to play for your school and all the fans that come out there every game,” he said. “The other sports were able to have their senior send-off and we didn’t get that. That last run. That last hurrah. It was heartbreaking, really.
“We just have to move on and cherish what we had.”
Ferris senior roll call
Baseball: Tarynce Antolin, Josh Clark, Ben Comes, Dawson Hone, Ethan Side, Gabe Vasquez. Softball: Lexi Dinwoodie. Boys Soccer: Jadon Bowton, Leo Cox, Colby Duncan, Zach Fleming, Munzir Jama, Jack Jeremiah, Wes Kimball, Caden Martin, Affy Nguyen, Liam Petefish, Nate Schlosser, McCoy Spink. Boys Tennis: Danny DeNike, Hayden Reid, Reese Roland, Trenton Roshetko. Girls Tennis: Lisa Seefeldt, Amelia Stockdale, Hailey Utzinger. Boys Golf: Josh Kobluk, John Williamson. Girls Golf: McKenna Gass, Ainsley Schnell. Boys Track: Jonah Bloom, Jake Davis, Reuland Gann, Marcus Gordon, Justin Hetzel, Anthony Higgins, Tucker Inman, Omar Jones II, Dan McGee, Levi Parker, Keena Thompson, Peter Wang. Girls Track: Hanna Anderberg, Madison Anderson, Adina Burrow, Halle Caviness, Taylor Cobb, Shantae Cutler, Gillian Garlick, Aiyana Henderson, Sharlyn Kagereki, Sophie Munter, Alice Quintaba, Caydence Schelling, Olivia Schwartz, Dylan Stearns, Alina Ugrin.