For someone who had to miss the Puyallup High School boys soccer team’s postseason run last year because of a broken left arm, then the first 10 games of this season after breaking it again, Trevor Lee is having a surprising amount of fun.
It helps the team is guaranteed of a 4A state tournament berth and hasn’t lost a match this season.
“It was awesome just seeing the team from a different perspective,” said Lee, a junior midfielder and team captain. “It helped me see how good of a team we actually are. It was fun.”
Lee is a patient passer, adept at opening lanes for teammates, and Puyallup coach Matt White said Lee is the team’s best dead-ball striker.
Yet 4A South Puget Sound League champion Puyallup (13-0-2 overall, 12-0-0 SPSL South) didn’t lose any of its games without him. And he’s scored four goals in five matches since he’s returned — one goal behind Brad Macdougall and Jonathan Contreras for the team lead.
White was concerned Lee might disturb his team’s chemistry, and he said that’s still a work in progress, even after clinching the 4A SPSL title with two weeks to play.
“Since we clinched the title so early we’ve been able to spend the extra time kind of having a mini-postseason camp,” White said, “to just rework positioning and rework patterns with what (Lee) brings to it. That’s been fun to watch.”
Lee was forced to miss the Vikings’ postseason run last season when a ball was kicked at him and broke his arm. He had to have a plate inserted that was removed about six months ago.
Then he rolled up on an opposing goalkeeper’s back, landed on the arm and broke it again just before the season during a jamboree.
He was hoping he’d return quickly, but he said doctors wanted to be extra careful since it was the same arm. Lee doesn’t have to wear a cast anymore.
With the league title intact, Puyallup — just like 4A SPSL North champ Tahoma and 4A Narrows champ Bellarmine Prep — won’t play until Saturday after the first two rounds of the district tournament. And that will only be for state tournament seeding.
With Puyallup having played so well without Lee, White is excited for what’s to come with him.
“Coaches come up to me and say, ‘What a difference Trevor makes,’ ” White said. “It doesn’t always result in goals, but there is such a difference between the front line and the midfield, much better combinations from the attacking third.
“The kid is a passer, wants to pass, he wants to find the open guy, he wants to find the open space. Not a bad guy to have on the field.”