Sports

Neagle's 27 goals lead Jefferson to seventh state title and Mirror's boys soccer Player of the Year

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

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 Jefferson’s 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 Mirror’s All-City Soccer Team’s 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.

Neagle’s 27 goals also included a school-record six during an 11-0 blowout of Spanaway Lake in a regular-season win.

“It’s 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 Mirror’s All-City Team are Jefferson’s Rafael Velazquez, Decatur’s J’maar Aina (five goals, three assists) and Beamer’s 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 O’Brien, who was the Mirror’s 2004 Player of the Year. O’Brien led the Gators in goals (nine) and assists (five) despite being double- and triple-teamed every game.

Joining O’Brien 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 Beamer’s Brennan Hall (five goals, six assists).

The defenders on the All-City Team are Sprague, Beamer’s Taylor Lane, Decatur’s Rey Mills and Josh Norwood and TJ’s 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, sports@fedwaymiror.com

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