BREMERTON, WA— The Northwest Premier League announces that Jada Stevenson of Yakima United Football Club is the NWPL Player of the Week for June 25-26, 2016. It’s the second straight week that a goalkeeper has earned the honor. Stevenson is bursting onto the scene as a freshman out of West Valley High School in Yakima.
It’s one thing to play with your peers and excel. Jada Stevenson has certainly done that. Her first year in high school has included a trip to the WIAA state finals with her West Valley Rams. It ended a goal short of a title, but what a start to a high school career. To step up and play among adults in a statewide premier league? Now Stevenson can add that feat to her growing list of accomplishments – along with Player of the Week honors.
Yakima United Head Coach JoshVega is enjoying Jada’s moments just like many in Yakima are. “She handles herself remarkably well for someone so young, and at 15, she is still very very young but you wouldn’t know it the way she plays. It’s like she’s seen everything before and knows how to put herself in the right spot.”
Last weekend Jada played in both Hoppers matches. Both ended in shutouts for Yakima (7-0, 0-0.) “The two clean sheets this past weekend were massive and when our legs got a bit heavy from playing twice in less than 24 hours on Sunday versus a really good South Sound team, Jada came up huge a few times to see us over the line,” Vega says.
Suddenly the Hoppers are in 3rd place in the table, topping a competitive group that is battling it out below the two contenders.
“We’ve been pretty lucky to have some really good goalkeepers come in and play for us this year. Jada gets a fantastic soccer education playing with the Central Washington Sounders and learning from some of the best coaches in our area, I think most importantly she has an extremely solid foundation at home which is the most important ingredient for a person her age. I’m blessed to be able to sit back and enjoy watching her play, shes just a special player and a cool kid.”
Jada is the daughter of Dennis Stevenson (mother Jennifer Fife, stepmom Marla Stevenson.) Dennis plays for Yakima United in the Evergreen Premier League. It’s a family thing – earier this season Dad also won Player of the Week honors in his league.
“Most people know she’s Dennis’s daughter so for a good portion of the team Jada was already like family, so she gets looked after pretty well by her teammates and I think that allows her to just kinda hangout and play without a ton of pressure which is exactly what we want for her,” Vega says.
“Being so young its only natural that she ends up being the little joker on our team, nothing is ever too serious for her and I think that’s evident in the way she plays. I think part of that comes from the relationship she has with most of the players on the team.”
Stevenson will get a 2016 NWPL league collector’s scarf for her Player of the Week accomplishment.