BY MICHAEL WALLWORK
Special to Michigan Soccer Network
CLARKSTON – Sebalian Roy is trying to lead Clarkston to the promised land.
The talented senior midfielder/forward and NCAA Division I recruit from Clarkston has led the Wolves to a hot start to the season with a 5-0-1 record and Clarkston holds down the No. 1 ranking in Division 1 for the past two weeks.
A huge reason for that success is the return of the aforementioned Roy, who returns for his second campaign of high school soccer after starring on the club circuit for years.
Roy was Division 1 All-State First Team last year after helping the Wolves reach the regional finals for the fifth time in school history and is now one of the leading candidates this season for Mr. Soccer, given annually by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association to the state’s top prep player. He is trying to lead Clarkston to its second Final Four and first state championship for a school more known for its success in basketball and football.
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Roy has racked up eight goals and two assists in the first five games – highlighted by a five-goal barrage against defending champion Rochester Adams to lead the Wolves to a 7-3 win.
That performance not only highlighted how good Roy can be but also the variety of his skills as he scored goals from the penalty spot and various points around the box with both his left foot and his right foot.
“He’s just got an all-around game. He’s the size of a target man. He can hold the ball up. He can bring it out of the air. But he’s also got ability as a 10. He can beat players,” said Wolves head coach Ian Jones. “Finishing wise, he can score all sorts of goals – head, left foot, right foot. He’s pretty complete in that sense.”
Roy is a former player for the FC Cincinnati Academy, spending his first two years of high school training and competing around the country for that MLS Academy club while residing with a host family in the Cincinnati area. He returned home to Clarkston at the end of his sophomore year to reside with his parents and play for the local high school and also compete for the Nationals club team in the ECNL circuit.Tripoli now has five goals on the campaign following his brace – third highest on the team.
“My parents thought that I could get much more training here, especially with them. It would be much more individual training and just better all-around,” said Roy.
Roy comes from an athletic family. His father Travis was a successful soccer player, winning a national championship at Wisconsin in the mid-1990s while also leading Livonia Stevenson to the 1991 Class A state championship. The elder Roy earned All-State Dream Team accolades as well as being honored as the 1991 Mr. Soccer award winner by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association. His mother was a standout track and field athlete as well.
That heritage is a driving force for Sebi Roy, the second of three Roy children.
“It’s definitely something to push towards. I want to do just as well as him (his father Travis Roy) if not better, and he’s coached me my entire life,” said Roy.
Playing for Clarkston also gives him a chance to play with his younger brother Fagan, who is an outstanding player in his own right and a starter for the Wolves this fall as a freshman.
“I never thought it would happen,” said Roy. “He’s doing really well. It’s fun.”
It’s a relationship that is not lost on their coach.
“It’s a funny dynamic actually because when we do practices and you break them off doing some sort of exercise or game or drill or whatever, in practice he doesn’t want to be on his brother’s team. And his younger brother is kind of opposite to Sebi. Sebi’s kind of quiet whereas Fagan is a bit more lively and never stops moving, or talking, or whatever. They don’t but heads, but you definitely see a dynamic between the brothers,” explained Jones. “On the field, I think his brother looks up to him in a positive way. But his brother himself is a good player, and I think he’s excited to play with him. I think it’s a big thing for him to play with his older brother.”
Playing for the high school also gives Sebi Roy a chance to reconnect with players whom he played while growing up.
“Our team is phenomenal. I’ve played with a lot of these players for a long time,” he said. “It’s great.”
Even in today’s sports-driven society, it is family and academics that drive Sebi Roy even more than soccer. He will certainly play college, if he wishes, but his choice will be based on academics first, not on his soccer career. Roy is being courted by NCAA Division I schools from around the country and with high test scores and high GPA, he is entertaining maybe even heading to an Ivy League school in the future.
“He’ll play in college,” beamed Jones. “I know he’s very focused on his academics, so I think that’s an even bigger priority to the soccer to a certain degree. So he’ll find the school that suits what he wants academically I think first. But obviously soccer is going to help that because what Division I program wouldn’t want a player like that. So if he’s smart and he can play, then he’s got a good future ahead of him, for college anyway.”