BOYS SOCCER PREVIEW: Kentlake ready to break through

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2009 10:31pm
  • Sports

Kyle Jones is trying to keep things in perspective these days.

But, admittedly, it can be a tough for the Kentlake High boys soccer coach.

And why not? Jones is returning the bulk of talent that helped the Falcons advance to the postseason last year for the first time in school history. Throw in the fact that they are, for the first time, legitimate challengers in the South Puget Sound League North Division, and Jones can be forgiven if he seems a bit overzealous.

“In my first year (as coach), we wanted to gain respect,” said Jones, who’s starting his second season. “Now we have to live up to it. We can't sneak up on teams anymore. The carrot was dangled in front of the kids' faces.

“I’m trying to stay cool right now, but I am pretty emotional ... this could and should be their year,” Jones added.

That carrot of which Jones speaks so fondly was the team's first-ever playoff berth. Kentlake snuck into the postseason last year, nabbing the SPSL North's fourth and final slot. The Falcons lost to Emerald Ridge in a shootout, 1-0. But Jones insists it was a game his team should have had, as Kentlake outshot the Jaguars, 20-2.

The Falcons are using that loss as motivation.

“We have to turn a corner and with the kids we have, I think we can get it done,” Jones said.

Indeed they could.

Kentlake graduated just two starters and returns some of the best talent in the North, including first-team all-leaguers Tyler Wright and Drew Landram. Wright, a junior forward, led the Falcons in scoring last year with eight goals. But Landram, a senior midfielder, ultimately is the engine that makes Kentlake go, the type of ball distributor who can help make a good team great.

“He's as good as kid as you would ever want. He's my go-to guy,” Jones said of Landram. “He's an extension of me out there. He's allowed to coach. He's allowed to re-direct the players. There are not a whole lot of kids I give free reign to, but I do with Drew. He's just a playmaker.”

And Landram will have to be this year. While the Falcons are among the contenders in a loaded SPSL North, they are not the favorites. Instead, Auburn Riverside, which won the SPSL 3A a year ago, and perennial power Thomas Jefferson, also return considerable talent.

“It's all talk at this point,” Jones said. “I think Auburn Riverside is going to have a very good team, but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't challenge for that (top) spot.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Seven former Kent-based Thunderbirds in Stanley Cup playoffs | List | Update

Barzal, Bear and Kolesar helped lead Seattle to Western Hockey League title in 2017

Seeing Green (River): Gators win first hoops title since 1969

Along with a ring, coach Godfrey Drake and sophomore Jaiden Feroah win yearly awards.

Ben Ray / The Reporter
Sarah Wright has been nothing but dominant in the circle for Kentwood.
Spring sports breakdown: NPSL surprises and standings

League summaries so far, with mid-season awards.

Courtesy of Kent School District.
Kent School District and Kent News partner for Athlete of the Year

Voting opens May 1 and will run until May 8, Awards given on June 4.

(Google screenshot)
Women's NCAA basketball tournament was a game-changer | Bench Talk with Ben Ray

It seems like we are entering a time where the WNBA is ready to take that next leap to become even more mainstream with the help of these athletes. Why is that?

Kent News Female Athlete of the Week: Sofia Mottern-Salinas

Mottern-Salinas plays three positions and hit her second homer of the season against Mt. Rainier.

Courtesy Photo
Kent News Male Athlete of the Week: Justin Jamison

Jamison has set a new personal record in the 400 every race this season.

Seth Thomas and Isaiah Shimizu contest for possession of the ball. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood takes down Kentridge and takes over first place in NPSL

Conks have now beaten Kentridge six straight times dating back to 2018.

Kent News Female Athlete of the Week: Nashayla Fellows

Fellows has a top ten mark in the entire state for discus and shot put.

Kent News Male Athlete of the Week: Theo Carter

Carter has a top five time in the 400 and 800 in league.

Saul Rodriguez chases down an Auburn player in the second half. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kent-Meridian soccer falls to Auburn

Royals allowed two goals in first six minutes and couldn’t muster a comeback.

Dominic DesMarais pitches at T-Mobile Park against Lake Washington. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentridge snatches victory from jaws of defeat inside T-Mobile Park

Clutch hitting from Owen Finlayson along with solid pitching gives KR late life against Lake Washington.