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Neagle's 27 goals lead Jefferson to seventh state title and Mirror's boys soccer Player of the Year
By CASEY OLSON
Another year and another state boys soccer championship for a school in Federal Way.
The Thomas Jefferson Raiders captured the 2005 title last week with a 2-1 victory over the Pasco Bulldogs in the championship game. The win was the third state title in the Federal Way school district in the last five years and Jeffersons seventh big-school championship since 1983. Decatur won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 02.
The difference-maker during the Raiders championship run was senior Lamar Neagle, earning him the Mirrors All-City Soccer Teams Player of the Year honor.
Neagle was a solid player during his sophomore and junior seasons at TJ. But he took his game to another level this year. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound forward missed the Raiders first three games of the season with a foot injury. TJ tied all three games and tallied a total of one goal.
When Neagle returned, he tallied 27 goals in just 19 matches. He also led the Raiders with 11 assists. His final goal of the year came on a penalty kick that helped TJ to the one-goal win over Pasco in the state title game.
He just had an amazing season, Beamer head coach Adam Kulaas said.
Neagles 27 goals also included a school-record six during an 11-0 blowout of Spanaway Lake in a regular-season win.
Its pretty easy to coach when you got a guy like Lamar out there, said TJ head coach Darren Sawatzky.
Neagle will play next year at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, along with TJ teammate Brandon Sprague. The Rebels finished 6-12-0 overall last year in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Joining Neagle on the front line of the Mirrors All-City Team are Jeffersons Rafael Velazquez, Decaturs Jmaar Aina (five goals, three assists) and Beamers Peyton Lane (10 goals, eight assists) and Sean Davis (12 goals, six assists), who combined for 55 percent of the Titans goals this season.
Velazquez was the Raiders second-leading scorer with 13 goals and six assists, but suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a quarterfinal win over Bellarmine Prep. The senior is set to undergo surgery in the near future and plans on attending the University of San Diego with the goal of becoming a lawyer.
He might walk-on to play soccer, Sawatzky said. Soccer is not his No. 1 priority anymore, but he might get the soccer bug again.
The midfield is anchored by Decatur junior Ciaran OBrien, who was the Mirrors 2004 Player of the Year. OBrien led the Gators in goals (nine) and assists (five) despite being double- and triple-teamed every game.
Joining OBrien in the midfield are Decatur junior Kyle Estlick (two assists), talented Federal Way freshman Omar Cruz (one goal), TJ senior Skyler Kimball (four goals, eight assists) and Beamers Brennan Hall (five goals, six assists).
The defenders on the All-City Team are Sprague, Beamers Taylor Lane, Decaturs Rey Mills and Josh Norwood and TJs Josh Hauck. The goalkeeper is Decatur senior Taylor McCluskey, who tallied seven shutouts for the SPSL South co-champion Gators.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com