If you listen carefully, you can hear a buzzing sound on the campus of Lynnwood High School. It is coming from the school’s entertaining boys soccer team.
It has been five years since Lynnwood High School has fielded a team this good.
And though the Royals’ record doesn’t look impressive at 3-9-1 overall, they’ve had big wins — including a 2-1 win over nationally ranked Kamiak — and tough losses.
Lynnwood has lost three games by one goal each. In those three losses, the game-winning scores came after the 70th minute, or in the case of Saturday’s overtime loss to Jackson, three minutes into the extra period.
Still, the Royals have managed to match their win total from last year when they finished 1-8 in league and 3-15 overall and surpass their Wesco South win total from the past four years, a combined 2-31-3 record.
The win over Kamiak, a team that was ranked No. 20 in the nation early in the season by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, is the highlight and driving force behind the Royals success this season.
“It was more than big in that I could’ve gone the entire season winless and it just validated the effort,” Lynnwood head coach Tim Colvin said.
Colvin believes that playing against teams like Shorecrest (ranked No. 13 in the nation in the latest NSCAA poll) and Kamiak will help the Royals come playoff time.
“We play against such difficult competition. It’s hard to impress on them the success factor because they’re playing against teams like Shorecrest and Kamiak … when they are going to get into that 3A tournament it’s (going to be) a whole lot easier for them,” Colvin said.
Colvin has been the head coach of the Royals for six seasons and has watched as his team went from constant bottom dweller to playoff contender.
“When I came in they hadn’t won a game in well over 10 years. The season prior (2001) they had given up 150 goals and had only scored one. They barely had enough to field two teams. Now we have 56 kids turning out,” Colvin said.
Colvin played collegiate ball at Seattle Pacific University where losing wasn’t something you experienced often.
Taking over the coaching duties at Lynnwood has been tough, not just because of past seasons but because of the adversity and challenges that many of his players face and overcome.
Most of Colvin’s players have full-time jobs — his starting midfielder had to work Saturday and was unable to play against Jackson — and most come from different ethnic backgrounds. Lynnwood’s 11 starters hail from eight different countries: Bosnia, Columbia, Peru, Ethiopia, Mexico, Uraguay, South Korea and the United States.
“We’ve got so many different nationalities. Everyone’s got their own perspective on the game,” Colvin said.
The biggest reason for the turnaround has been familiarity.
Nine of the starting 11 have started since they were freshmen and 10 of the 16 players on the roster are seniors.
Lynnwood also possesses “outstanding ball handlers” and “offensively we have probably one of the fiercest, fastest offenses around,” Colvin said.
Seniors Christian DeCastro (five goals, two assists), Rolando Becceril (three goals, three assists) and Mirnes Imsic (four goals, two assists) lead a balanced Lynnwood offense.
But none may be as tough as senior defenseman Handol Jang, who ruptured a spleen and bruised a kidney in the April 20 game against Edmonds-Woodway.
Jang ran into the goalpost but remained in the game, playing the final 10 minutes of the Royals 3-1 loss to the Warriors.
That toughness and adversity is what makes this year’s squad so special and is the reason there is a buzz around school.
Kevin Johnson writes for The Herald in Everett.
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