David Douglas has a long history of success in sports.
The southeast Portland high school was a state football and wrestling powerhouse in the 1960s and dominated boys and girls swimming throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 2013, the Scots won another state title in wrestling.
But it took until this year for David Douglas to win even one league championship in boys soccer. The Scots reached the top of the Mt. Hood Conference last week with a 1-0 win over No. 1 Central Catholic in the regular-season finale at Delta Park.
David Douglas coach Logan Marquardt said it was long overdue.
“This school should’ve always been a competitive program with the kind of demographics we have, the size of our schools and a large population that appreciates soccer and plays a lot,” he said. “It’s kind of cool to see that shift happen over the course of the seven or eight years I’ve been involved in the program.”
Heading into the playoffs, the Scots (10-2-2, 5-1-1) are No. 3 in the OSAAtoday 6A coaches poll and No. 3 in the OSAA power rankings. Marquardt said the team is comparable to the one that reached the quarterfinals in 2014.
“They might even be a little better in that there’s better balance across the board,” Marquardt said. “That team had two or three really talented guys, and this team has four or five.”
Last year, David Douglas finished 7-4-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. With five starters and three other rotation players returning, the Scots entered this season optimistic.
“We recognized the talent we had,” Marquardt said. “A big part was just getting them to come together, for some of them to embrace different roles. Talent only gets you so far.”
The Scots suffered a blow in the offseason when striker Arturo Gonzalez Vazquez, the team’s leading scorer as a junior last season, blew out his knee. Sophomore forward Isaac Rangel Villafuerte has stepped up to compensate for the loss in scoring punch, with help from junior Angel Vides and seniors Rigo Mendez and Esad Salihovic.
Marquardt said that Villafuerte has been able to “fill the shoes” of Vazquez. “Losing Arturo was more of a leadership piece. He was a fierce competitor. It’s hard to replace leadership like that," he said.
Villafuerte scored a team-high six goals in conference play, including the game-winner in the first half against Central Catholic.
“He’s fast and fearless, and he loves playing the game,” Marquardt said. “You see him with the ball, he’s got a huge smile on his face. He stays kind of in attack mode. He’s got that speed and control.”
Senior Miguel Andalon Ordaz has been solid in the midfield and senior center defender Mussa Amissi anchors the back line in front of junior goalkeeper Andy Borbon.
Now the Scots turn their attention to the 6A playoffs as they open with a first-round home game Saturday against 30th-seeded Sherwood (4-8-3). As the No. 3 seed, they are one of the favorites.
“We know that, to some extent, there’s going to be a little more pressure on us in terms of being a team that has something to lose, in a sense,” Marquardt said. “I think this group’s focus so far has shown that they want to try to make a run. I think they’ll show up ready to play.”