BOYS SOCCER PREVIEW: Youth, optimism run high at K-M

They're young.

A bit "green around the collar," coach Brian Gabert notes.

But tools for success remain. And there's reason for optimism on the Kent-Meridian High boys soccer pitch this spring, despite the fact that the Royals haven't won a South Puget Sound League North Division game since 2006.

"We're still young," Gabert said. "But we have some skillful players."

And they have numbers. In fact, the Royals enjoyed a turnout of 80-plus players.

In a league like the SPSL North, which as always is expected to be a night-in, night-out grind this season, those numbers should come in plenty handy. But the Royals also have considerable talent, too. Senior midfielder Fermin Samario, a two-year starter at forward, is expected to lead the K-M resurgence.

"His ballhandling skills are awesome," Gabert said.

Samario will be flanked by juniors Jordan Roberts at forward and Chuck Kibbie at wing, two players who have speed to burn.

But the key to Kent-Meridian getting out of the North basement will be teamwork. While getting to state for the first time since 1981 isn’t likely, challenging for the North's No. 4 playoff berth after two dry seasons is a legitimate goal for the Royals.

"We have great numbers," Gabert conceded. "But it comes down to being able to communicate.

"I am optimistic."

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