It was another banner year for boys soccer teams from the City of Destiny in 2018. With five of the city’s six big schools all making it to the post-season, it’s safe to say that the game of soccer is on the rise in a big way throughout the Puget Sound. While this has been a constant trend here in the Pacific Northwest, the fact that Tacoma’s public schools are putting together such strong programs has created a new atmosphere when these teams now face each other on the field.
The Stadium Tigers were again the cream of the crop in Tacoma. Head coach Raphael Cox fielded a squad that was nearly perfect in 3A Pierce County League action at 13-0-1. The Tigers surrendered just 10 goals in their 14 league matches, while putting the ball in the back of the net 50 times. The Tigers would finish the regular season with a 12-game winning streak, turning it into a 13-game run with a 6-0 thrashing of Shelton in the district playoffs. Unfortunately, the first-round jinx stung the Tigers yet again, as they fell to Lakeside, who finished fourth in the state tournament.
After several years of fielding competitive teams that just couldn’t get over the hump, it all seemed to come together for the Mt. Tahoma T-Birds this season. Not only did Mt. Tahoma finish the season with an impressive 12-3-3 record, they also advanced to the boys soccer state tournament for the first time in school history. Led by another stout defense, the T-Birds surrendered just 12 goals in their 14 league matches. They will graduate some talented players, but this is definitely a program on the rise in Tacoma’s south end.
The Wilson Rams put together another strong season, falling just two goals short of the 3A state tournament. While the Rams have usually competed for the top-spot in the 3A PCL standings, this year it was a little bit more of a grind for Wilson, as they finished with a 9-6-2 record on the season. These Rams will bounce back.
Another surprising team was the Lincoln Abes. While the Rail-Splitters have hovered at, or near, the bottom of the boys soccer standings for a long time, fortunes are beginning to change for this program. Not only did Lincoln play Stadium to a 3-3 tie early in the season, they found themselves within striking distance in nearly every match in league play. Lincoln scored 30 goals in their 14 league matches, while giving up 31. The Abes advanced to the post-season and were just two wins away from an unheard-of state tournament berth. This is a program to get excited about for the future.
After moving down to the 2A classification two years ago, the Foss Falcons have seen little real success in any other sport other than boys basketball. Things changed this spring when the Falcons began to make their mark in the 2A South Puget Sound League. A 3-2 win over perennial state powerhouse Fife put the Falcons on the map. While the Trojans would get their revenge in the playoffs with a slim 1-0 victory over Foss, it’s becoming clear that this program is getting back in shape. Foss finished the season 9-7-1.
It was a rough season for the Bellarmine Lions in the 4A South Puget Sound League. While the Lions usually spend the post-season competing for a state title, this year it proved to be too much for head coach Joe Waters’ boys. The Lions were competitive in many close matches, but in the end, Bellarmine was on the outside of the playoff picture when their 4-11-1 season came to a close.
The 2018 Tacoma Weekly All-City Team represents the best players from Tacoma’s five public schools, as well as Bellarmine Prep. Instead of serving up the usual first team, second team, honorable mention format, we believe a team should actually look like a team. With that, we take the best players from the bunch, draft them on to two fictitious soccer clubs, and there you have the best 24 boys soccer players from Grit City.