A year ago, no Big Sky soccer player broke the double-digit mark for goals scored. The Eagles’ closest shot came from Miguel Gutierrez, a foreign exchange student who scored nine times and added two assists for the state-bound Missoula squad.
Big Sky took some grief from others around the state for having its best goal scorer be a foreign exchange player. Gutierrez’s play seemed like a free-agent pickup and the critics let coach Jay Bostrom hear about it — so much so that for the first few games at the beginning of this season, Bostrom made sure to note in conversations with the Missoulian that none of his goal scorers were exchange students.
Well that whole controversy sure seems like ages ago. Montanan Tristan Powers, a Corvallis kid through his freshman year before transferring to Big Sky the summer before his second year of high school, has come on strong in 2013. Powers has 15 goals headed into the Western AA divisional playoff round next Tuesday
“I think that’s another thing that’s nice for all of the boys on this team,” coach Jay Bostrom said. “What they’ve been able to do without the criticism of having an exchange student and all that stuff. The leading goal scorer, well all the goal scorers actually, the only exchange student that we have hasn’t scored a single goal.”
The Eagles have 39 goals scored as a team this year.
Big Sky is no stranger to Spanish speaking. Coach Bostrom is a Spanish teacher at the high school, spent several years living abroad and even earned his master’s degree from a Spanish university.
Then the Eagles’ boys team took a trip to Barcelona, Spain in the summer of 2011 for a little sight-seeing and soccer. This past summer, a team of coaches from Barcelona returned the favor with a clinic in Missoula.
They may be trained in the art of Spanish soccer, but these Eagles are all American.