While O’Dea has been known for its football supremacy for many years, it was the boys soccer program that was responsible for bringing the all-boys private Catholic school on First Hill its first state championship.
The man behind the Irish boys soccer program for 42 years has been head coach Pat Raney. He helped get the ball rolling for the school’s rich sports history.
After O’Dea finishes out the 2013 season, Raney will step away from the front lines and retire from coaching.
The face of Irish boys soccer will fade out into the sunset once the season over this spring and with that decision will go what is believed to be the longest-tenured high-school boys soccer coach in the state.
Raney, 78, took over O’Dea’s boys soccer team as varsity coach in 1972 and later helped the Irish bring home the school’s first state title, winning the Class 3A crown in 1990. The Irish downed Franklin Pierce 2-1 in the title match that season.
“He has had a positive impact on coaches and players for over 40 years,” said O’Dea athletic director and football coach Monte Kohler. “He has been a wonderful man and coach for so many years. He has won a number of Metro League championships as well as helping win our first-ever state championship here at O’Dea.
“But more important than any of the victories or championships, he has been a true gentleman of the game of soccer.”
Raney, who also has taught chemistry full-time at O’Dea since 1992, has seen a lot in the Irish program, guiding them to a 451-187-96 record through matches of last week.
“It’s been a blur, to be honest,” he said.
O’Dea is off to a 2-5-1 start, but there are plenty of memories. Raney guided the Irish to 14 Metro League titles and 15 state appearances with last of both coming in 1997.
“I just enjoy the game,” said Raney, who turned 78 on Saturday and hopes to continue teaching chemistry next year. “It’s come a long way. Back when I first started, we didn’t really have it on TV. There wasn’t anyone to have as heroes or emulate.
“The skill level of the kids and the tactics are the biggest changes. The kids are the same.”
Raney just recognized that it’s time to turn it over to a younger coach.
“Well, I’m getting old and that’s the main thing,” he said. “It’s getting hard to do all the work that’s associated with getting things prepared, putting together exercises and drills and keeping on top of these kids. It’s time for a younger person to take over.”
As for the notion of O’Dea just being a football and basketball school, Raney led the Irish soccer surge during its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“It wasn’t a football school until Monte came [in 1985], and that was about the time we were dominant in Metro and the state [for boys soccer],” Raney said. “In school, we were looked up to as one of the major sports. When Monte finally got the football program turned around, they were the dominant sport and basketball was pretty good.
“It was a real honor to get that first title [for the school].”
Raney, who had back surgery about three years ago, had the pleasure of coaching all four of his sons, Mark (now 54), Bruce (52), Scott (47) and Matt (41), three of his grandsons and two nephews at O’Dea.
Forward Joe Briner is currently a senior with the Irish and the last of the three grandsons.
Raney also coached kids of kids who played for him in his earlier coaching days with the Irish.
“I’ll miss just being with the boys,” he said. “We take the bus to training daily and there’s always a lot of banter on the way there. I’ll miss that.”
Raney coached alongside Kohler in football, with the Irish coach putting him on staff to coach kickers, many of which were soccer players first. Raney was an assistant in football for 18 years until recently and was part of three state titles in that sport.
“He has made a difference in the soccer community in the greater Seattle area,” Kohler added. “We will miss him next year, but we are very proud of his legacy that he has left here at O’Dea High School.”
Raney operated Federal Testing Labs for 45 years, but recently closed his business. He loves teaching chemistry to high-school students, passing on his passion.
“It’s just a challenge, I guess,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of the boys go on and get degrees in chemistry and use that as a step-off to being a doctor or for engineering or other types of scientific endeavors. It’s fun to see.”
The Irish will miss a potent part of the coaching equation in the future.
Snohomish (11-0-0, WesCo 4A), Federal Way (8-0-0, SPSL 4A), Lakeside (8-0-0, Metro 3A), Redmond (10-0-0, KingCo 4A), Seattle Christian (8-0-0, Nisqually 1A), Liberty (9-0-1, KingCo 3A/2A), Jefferson (8-0-2, SPSL 4A) and University Prep (8-0-1, Emerald City League 1A) remain as the local teams who are still unbeaten overall.
Marquee matches upcoming
Tuesday, April 16
WesCo 3A, Stanwood (7-1-2) at Glacier Peak (5-4-1), 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South Division, Federal Way (9-1-0) at Beamer (5-2-2), 7:30 p.m.
Seamount 3A, Hazen (7-1-3) at Highline (3-4-4), 7:30 p.m.
Metro League 3A Mountain Division, Lakeside (8-0-0) at Bainbridge (5-1-0), 6 p.m. (Both teams are tied at 4-0-0 in division play.)
Metro League 3A Sound Division, Ingraham (7-2-2) at Chief Sealth (9-1-2), 4 p.m. (Sealth is 8-0-1 in division play and Ingraham is 6-1-1.)
KingCo 3A/2A, Juanita (5-3-2) at Liberty (9-0-1), 7:30 p.m. (Liberty leads conference at 7-0-1 and Juanita is 4-3-1.)
Wednesday, April 17
SPSL 3A, Bonney Lake (7-4-0) at Auburn Mountainview (4-2-2), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 19
WesCo 3A, Glacier Peak (5-4-1) at Shorewood (7-1-1), 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South Division, Beamer (5-2-2) at Puyallup (6-2-2), 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South Division, Rogers (Puyallup) (5-3-2) at Emerald Ridge (4-3-3), 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 2A, Franklin Pierce (8-1-0) at Fife (5-3-1), 7 p.m.
KingCo 4A, Inglemoor (6-1-1) at Redmond (10-0-0), 7:30 p.m. (Redmond leads conference at 6-0-0 and Inglemoor is 3-1-1.)
Washington state computer rankings
Area schools Redmond (4A) and Lakeside (3A) top their respective classes in the Washington state computer rankings with Cedarcrest (2A) checking in at No. 3 and Seattle Christian (1A) coming in at No. 2. Redmond re-took the No. 1 spot from Inglemoor in 4A after the Vikings suffered their first loss of 2013, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Skyline on Tuesday, April 9.
Link below to full rankings by classification:
National rankings picture
The second spring boys soccer rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) came out on Tuesday, April 9. Four teams from Washington state opened in the top 20 with a fifth team in the also receiving votes category. Defending Class 4A state champion Skyview of Vancouver stayed at No. 5 with Washington schools following in line – Snohomish (4A) at No. 10, Federal Way (4A) at No. 12 and Lakeside (3A) tied at No. 16. Jefferson (4A), who was No. 9 in the previous rankings, checked in among four teams also receiving votes. The next set of spring rankings is due out Tuesday, April 23. The current rankings link is below:
The NSCAA regional poll was filled with all Washington teams, from No. 1 through No. 10. Here’s the initial Region V poll for spring of 2013: