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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Countryside will miss Scott Vroman's leadership, selflessness.
By MEYLA HOOKER
Published March 20, 2005
Scott Vroman doesn't want you to know how good he is. He doesn't care if you know he was Countryside's hero in the playoffs, scoring winning goals in the region semifinal and final.
He figures you don't know he had nine goals - all on free kicks - and four assists as the county's best sweeper. Most people don't know he played with torn ligaments in his left ankle at the beginning of the season and a partial tear in his right groin during the final four games. Oh, and he also was hospitalized for kidney stones.
It's Vroman's humility that makes it hard to appreciate he missed just three games this season despite injuries that would have sidelined many players.
"Scott was unanimously voted MVP by his teammates," coach Dave Sica said. "It was a silent ballot and not one kid voted for himself. These kids put him on a pedestal and he doesn't even realize it. He is not into the glory. He came every day for four years and worked hard."
Off the field Vroman is quiet and reserved. On the field he was a vocal leader for the younger players. With standout underclassmen Jeff Attinella, Griffin Gilstrap and Josh Martinez on the roster, Vroman wasn't considered the team's best player.
He was, however, the most important.
As a freshman, Vroman scored in the same game as his brother, then-senior Brian Vroman. But that season ended when Palm Harbor U. beat the Cougars 1-0 in overtime of the region final. PHU went on to win the state title.
In an odd twist, Vroman got a chance to avenge the loss that ended his brother's career. Vroman said he didn't want to face any team but PHU in the region final. Vroman got his wish and scored on a free kick with 3:03 left to propel the Cougars to a 1-0 victory over the Hurricanes.
The squad also set a school record for wins (22), won the PCAC title for the first time in 10 years and advanced to the final four for the first time in seven years.
"For Scott this was about the honor of being a part of something," Sica said. "Everything came full circle. Next year will be my first time to not have a Vroman on my roster. It will be hard to replace the player, but even more difficult to replace the person."
Vroman is considering playing for Florida State's club team in the fall, since the Seminoles don't have an NCAA team. He plans to major in professional golf management.
"I've played soccer since I was 8," he said. "I will miss it, but I will mostly miss this team. It is beyond a doubt my favorite group of people to have ever been around. I couldn't have predicted a better way for my senior year to end."