5Q: Goalkeeper Joe Wheelwright

Find out how long it's been since Wheelwright last started a game, and get a culinary overview of Ecuador

5Q: Goalkeeper Joe Wheelwright

Wheelwright

As the lone goalkeeper (so far) with the Kitsap Soccer Club squad, Joe Wheelwright filled an immediate need after arriving following his freshman season at Utah Valley University. Find out how long it had been since Wheelwright last started a match, how he came to Kitsap SC and what he thinks about Ecuadoran cuisine. (Yes, you read the last part correctly.)

How did you come to join Kitsap Soccer Club?

I heard through my coach, Greg Maas at UVU, Utah Valley University, and also through (former Kitsap Puma) Steve Reese, the goalkeeper coach for T2 with the Portland Timbers, they both set this up for me, talking with (associate head coach Liviu Bird).

With your redshirt season at Utah Valley last year, when was the last time you started a game before last weekend?

The last time I started a game was two years and 10 months ago, because I previously served a church mission to Ecuador. I was there for two years and didn’t play any games. And then I redshirted last season. So it’s been two years and 10 months since I’ve started games.

Was there some (game) rust to shake off on your part?

Yes, for sure. When the college season started this past fall, there was some rust to shake off, for sure.

But even after coming to college, because you redshirted?

Not quite. At UVU, we push each other, all three keepers. So we’re always getting opportunities, and through the spring season, we all were playing, all rotating the same amount of time.

How do you feel you’ve played overall in the preseason?

I feel confident, feel really good be able to play my first two full games in such a long time. There were a couple things that came up, but I feel overall, I feel really good about it.

What was something you didn’t know about Ecuador before you went on a mission there?

I didn’t know the diversity of food that they have there. At the coast, they have a lot of seafood, really good, amazing food in Quito. And then in the mountains, there’s a lot of strange food, because they eat the waste parts, the stomach and intestines of the animals. That’s’ a little strange. And then, in the Oriente, which is like the Amazon jungle, they also eat a lot of the fish that are out of the rivers. And weird stuff. I ate boa. I ate worms. So weird stuff like that.

— By Rob Shore