FAIRMONT, W.Va – The Fairmont Senior boys soccer team proves time and again to be one of the very best in the state, currently unbeaten going into a marquee matchup at Charleston Catholic on Saturday.
While there’s plenty of prolific goal-scoring on the roster for the Polar Bears, the engine that drives play, game in and game out, is senior midfielder Kaelen Armstrong.
With the skill on the ball to control the middle of the pitch and the flair for playmaking to set up his teammates with ease, Armstrong has posted impressive numbers all season long.
It’s at this point you may ask how impressive is being defined here. How’s the fourth-most assists in the entire country for impressive?
While his 22 assists in 14 games may be what’s starting to get him noticed, Armstrong has other things he’s much more focused on.
“Honestly, I’m really excited about it. It’s a pretty cool accomplishment to have but at the same time, it just kind of comes naturally to me and I’m just focusing on getting wins with our team,” he said.
While Fairmont Senior puts up ridiculous scoring totals from time to time, the Polar Bears are ultimately a team built on possessing the ball and keeping its opponents out of the back of the net.
When you’ve got a player with Armstrong’s poise and ability to dominate the ball, that’s a goal that becomes much easier to accomplish.
“I don’t think there’s a better center mid in this state. Kaelen controls the middle. He’s so unselfish,” head coach Darrin Paul said, “There’s a number of times where I feel like he could taker it himself and take the shot, but there’s a reason he’s #3 in the nation right now in assists right now because he looks to distribute that ball. He is the engine of our offense and he does such a good job of controlling that middle.”
At the heart of Armstrong’s game and the thing that drives his impressive statistical output is a pretty simple explanation: a combination of plenty of skill and a hefty infusion of natural playmaking ability.
While his coach and teammates may see all kinds of opportunities for him to score himself, there’s something that just feels right about setting everyone else up.
“It’s definitely more natural for me to facilitate the ball and pass. I’m more of an unselfish player I would say but when an opportunity arises for me to shoot, I’ll take it, but I really enjoy setting up my teammates for goals,” he said.
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