Joshua Buck/Times-Call
Niwot goakeeper Josh Watt returned to team and posted a shutout against Longmont at Everly-Montgomery Field on Sept. 14. Watt has played three games and posted three shutouts already.

Josh Watt can finally move forward and just play soccer.

“It’s felt really good to be back,” Niwot’s junior goalkeeper said.

Watt rejoined the varsity team last week after he was forced to sit out the first four games of the season.

Watt’s saga began in 2009, when he attended Erie High School, but played soccer at Frederick (because Erie didn’t have a team). He played six games for the Warriors before leaving the team.

Now home-schooled, Watt joined the Niwot soccer team last year. And, he won the starting goalkeeping job on varsity.

Late in the 2010 season, however, it was discovered that proper paperwork was not filed by the Niwot administration. The Cougars were forced to forfeit six games (the number of games Watt was supposed to sit out, per the Colorado High School Activities Association transfer rule). In addition, Watt still needed to sit for six regular season games and any playoff games.

In all, Watt wound up sitting for eight games — the last regular season games of 2010, two playoff games and the first four games of this season.

“It was kind of upsetting,” Watt said. “I was expecting to play the whole time.”

Considering he’s not a Niwot student, Watt was worried anyway about being accepted last year. “It was kind of awkward because I didn’t know anyone,” he said.

Once the team learned it had to forfeit games, Watt was worried about the reaction. Turns out, he had nothing to fret.

“I learned that the team understood and they weren’t upset,” he said. “It helped a lot. The team, they’re awesome.”

That may be because the Cougars are at their best when Watt is in goal. He was good enough in the games he did play last year that he was named the Times-Call all-area goalie. Through three games this season, he has yet to allow a goal.

“I’ve been having a ton of fun,” he said. “It’s been awesome. The team, they’re the main reason why it’s been shutouts. I don’t have to do much in the back.”

Actually, Watt has less work to do now than he did before re-joining varsity. He was allowed to play on the JV team during his suspension, but because the JV team has young keepers it wants to season, Watt played striker.

“I thought it was a blast,” he said. “I don’t get to play field much, so when I did, it was fun.”

Of course, the real fun could be in helping the Cougars challenge for a state title. They’re off to an impressive 6-0-1 start, with big games against Centaurus (today) and Skyline (on Saturday) looming.

“I’m hoping that as a team we can make it to state and go far,” Watt said. “If I can continue doing well, that would be good.”

NOTES: Silver Creek soccer player Brock Vowell, who has battled a knee injury since the opener on Sept. 2, is nearly back to full strength and has played increased minutes in each of the Raptors’ last four games. … Skyline High School is looking for a C-team baseball coach. Send a resume and letter of interest to green_michael@svvsd.org or call 720-494-7341 for more information. … Tuesday’s prep schedule includes three stellar matchups: Broomfield at Niwot in boys tennis, Niwot at Silver Creek in softball and Niwot at Silver Creek in volleyball.

Brian Howell can be reached at bhowell@times-call.com.