Skyline’s Morgan, Twaddle listed among top prep soccer players
July 2, 2014
By Neil Pierson
Jason Twaddle lived in Madrid for the first seven years of his life, and the Spanish influence on his soccer game is undeniable.
Twaddle, who recently graduated from Skyline High School, had levels of success during his prep career that rivalled those of famed Spanish strikers like David Villa and Fernando Torres. He leaves as the Skyline program’s all-time leading scorer, piling up 76 points (33 goals, 10 assists), and will continue playing this fall at Seattle University.
Twaddle said he isn’t amazed at toppling the previous mark of 70 points, set by Travis Strawn (2008-11).
“My brother (Josh Twaddle) was going to try to beat it, but he got injured, so I had to do it for him,” he joked. “It was fun, but (I) definitely couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Skyline’s successful 2014 season, which ended with a trip to the Class 4A state quarterfinals and a 14-2-3 record, was due in large part to Twaddle. He had 10 goals – more than a third of the team’s total – and added three assists.
The Washington State Soccer Coaches’ Association recognized Twaddle’s standout season, naming him as one of four forwards on their first-team all-state squad.
The Spartans had another standout player in junior central defender Nick Morgan. He had two goals and one assist, and he was a key cog in a defense that allowed seven goals in 19 games, earning him WSSCA second-team all-state honors.
Both Twaddle and Morgan say individual accolades are nice, but wouldn’t be possible without their teammates and coaches.
“It means that I could help out my team, which is the ultimate goal, winning games and stuff like that,” Morgan said.
“It’s obviously an accomplishment for me,” Twaddle added, “but really, I couldn’t have done it without my team because they’re the ones who were always supporting me. They’re the ones who made me look good, I guess.”
Morgan has been playing on the back line since making his first select team, the under-11 Arsenal squad with Issaquah Soccer Club. He’s been playing with Eastside FC for the past four years, moving from left fullback to central defense.
Defending isn’t a glamorous job, but Morgan finds joy in it.
“You’ve got to find the little things in it, like stopping the attack,” he said. “…I still enjoy scoring goals and stuff like that, but putting a zero on the board for the other team is just as sweet for me.”
Growing up in Madrid, Twaddle was immersed in the Spanish fútbol culture. He and the other children often played in outdoor basketball cages because they didn’t have grass fields.
After coming to the U.S., he began playing for Eastside FC at age 11. He played some at left midfielder, and had a short stint at center back that he called “kind of a joke.” When he played forward for the first time, it was a natural fit.
“I like sprinting – I’m more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner,” Twaddle explained. “That always fit me better than any other position.”
The players credit Skyline head Don Braman, and assistants Andy Brownson and Chuck Krieble, for leading the way to a 2014 KingCo Conference regular-season title.
There isn’t a single in-game moment that stands out to Twaddle or Morgan. The bonds they built with their teammates were more important.
“I really like the locker-room atmosphere, how we all just gave everything we had to the games and the practices, the intensity we had,” Morgan said.
“It’s, honestly, the brotherhood,” Twaddle said of what he’ll remember most about his time at Skyline. “It’s the relationship you gain with the guys. It’s extremely fun, and you see them every day after school for about two-and-a-half months, three months, and it’s one of the best experiences. I’ve always loved high-school soccer and will always cherish it.”