First, he had the name. Now, he has the game.
Zane Baumgardt’s family name is synonymous with soccer, and he has fit the mold since he started playing competitively at the age of 4.
Zane, now an 18-year-old senior at Federal Way High School, had heard plenty of stories at family gatherings about how good is aunt Justi and father Jason were for the Eagles soccer programs.
Now, the 6-foot-2, 162-pound creative midfielder has carved out his own niche.
“It was just natural,” Zane Baumgardt said. “It’s just always been there since I was born. I’ve been playing around with a soccer ball since I was born. Soccer has turned me into the person I am today, and it’s become a lifestyle for sure.”
Justi Baumgardt set all kinds of records at Federal Way and won a pair of Class 4A state titles in 1991 and ’92. She played for the University of Portland, the U.S. National Team and for various professional teams.
“She was always a topic when family got together,” Zane said. “I always grew up listening to stories from my grandparents. There were both stories about my dad and my aunt. I take pride in my last name. I try to live up to what it is today.
“I don’t want to let it down.”
During his four-year varsity career with the Eagles, Baumgardt has started all but one game. The lone game he missed was after having a change of heart from playing with Crossfire Premier Academy and deciding to stay at high school as a junior.
Zane capped his senior season with his best season, supplying 23 goals and 15 assists to help the Eagles (17-4-0) to the Class 4A state quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. For his efforts this spring, Baumgardt is the Star Times Player of the Year.
“I would say it’s his competitive nature that’s got him this far in the sport,” said his dad, Federal Way coach Jason Baumgardt, who is a 1992 Federal Way graduate.
Zane has 46 goals and 56 assists for his career, but what he’s missing is a state title. His dad never won one as player, and they were hoping to get their first together, but the Eagles lost to Jackson 2-1 Friday.
“We always talk about winning a state title together,” said Zane, who will take his talents to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, which is poised to make the jump to NCAA Division I upon his arrival in the fall.
But really it was former Federal Way boys soccer standout, Kelyn Rowe, who stirred the passion of young Zane when he was 9 years old. Rowe, a 2010 Federal Way graduate, is in his eighth season in Major League Soccer and plays midfield for Sporting Kansas City.
Zane remembers well when Rowe was playing for his dad’s teams at Federal Way.
“The person I’ve probably learned the most from was Kelyn, watching him when I was little,” Zane said. “I love how competitive he is and no matter what the outcome of the game is, he always keeps his head up. If his teams lost, he’s always ready to turn it around and win the next game.”
Zane still owns Rowe’s MLS jerseys from his time with the New England Revolution. His fondest memory is a state playoff win by the Eagles, thanks to a big effort from Rowe.
“I remember waking up one morning and my Dad told me, ‘It’s the state quarterfinals game tonight,’ and we go out there and Kelyn scores all five goals to win 5-1 against Beamer,” Zane recalled of the match when Rowe was a senior. “We’re both really competitive, that’s for sure. We both play with emotion. Those are the two biggest connections we have.”
2019 Star Times boys soccer team
F Oscar Guzman, Federal Way, Sr.
The Eagles got 21 goals and 11 assists before state as Guzman teams with Zane Baumgardt for one of the most potent offensive tandems in the state — 44 goals and 26 assists combined this season. Guzman was all All-NPSL Olympic Division first team.
F Sullivan Smith, Mount Si, So.
The youngster provided 14 goals and three assists for the KingCo 4A champions and was a big reason the Wildcats are in the state semifinals. He was named KingCo 4A first team and led the league in scoring.
F Justin Blachman, Lakeside, Sr.
Coach Mark Szabo calls Blachman “the most dynamic player in the state at forward.” Blachman tallied 14 goals and five assists in just 13 matches as he missed three weeks (five matches) on a school trip to French Polynesia. He scored the game-winner in the Metro League championship in a 1-0 win over Roosevelt.
F Jake Allmon, Ballard, Sr.
The Metro League Most Valuable Player supplied 18 goals and two assists to help the Beavers to a fifth-place finish in the Metro League. He proved one of the toughest matchups to prepare for all season.
MF Drew Harris, Mount Si, Sr.
The KingCo 4A Offensive Most Valuable Player was the Wildcats setup guy with six goals and league-best 14 assists. Harris declined to return to Sounders Academy to play for his high school as a senior.
MF Jake Williams, Jackson, Sr.
The Timberwolves got 15 goals and two assists from their leader and it helped push the program to its first state appearance in eight seasons and first WesCo 4A crown in 14 years.
D Max Henderson, Archbishop Murphy, Sr.
The team’s defensive stopper was also the Wildcats’ leading scorer with eight goals and one assist. In his four seasons with the program, he won two state titles, three conference crowns and one district championship.
D Sebastian Scrivner, Bellevue, Sr.
The Wolverines’ backline ace was a big reason his team outscored opponents 40-14 in 18 matches. The captain and KingCo defensive MVP added four goals and two assists as the unbeaten program returned to state for the first time since 1981.
D Reed Paradissis, Mount Si, Sr.
The KingCo 4A Defensive Most Valuable Player is a four-year starter at center back, who also kicks for the football team. He added two goals and three assists in addition to being one of the best stoppers in the state.
GK Jackson Buck, Bellevue, Jr.
The Wolverines’ netminder, with seven shutouts in 14 matches and a 0.80 goals-against average, was a big reason his school won KingCo 3A/2A with an 11-0-1 regular-season mark. He’s made timely saves all season.
Coach: Darren Brown, Mount Si
Brown’s finest season (of 15) will be his last as he’ll quit to focus on his duties as the school’s athletic director. The Wildcats won the Kingco 4A title and Brown earned coach of the year honors. Brown has a 142-78-33 record and, combined with 14 seasons with the girls, he’s 258-164-66.