tampabay.com

Potent & plucky

By KELLIE DIXON
Published February 11, 2007


The boys soccer season concluded this week for county teams. We haven't calculated our top county players, but with the input of Citrus County coaches, here are standouts and shoutouts in a few categories.

Most dangerous with the ball: Chris Fleming

Despite injury, Crystal River midfielder Fleming's touch in the midfield helped the Pirates reach the region semifinals.

Shoutouts: Citrus' Bodee Wright was a playmaker for the 'Canes. Lecanto's Mike Burnett was able to collect the ball with his head up and distribute to the open player.

 

Toughest defense: Crystal River

It's tough to penetrate a quartet of seniors who have been playing together since 1999, plus a senior goalkeeper who combined for 15 shutouts. The defense gave up 16 goals all season, including four in the Class 4A region semifinals.

 

Team to watch in 2007: Lecanto

The Panthers forced Crystal River to battle back for the district title, and Lecanto will have several top returning players like Mike Burnett and Tyler Jordan.

Shoutout: Citrus. The 'Canes were young this season, even with 10 seniors, and will get many players from its 10-2-1 junior varsity squad.

 

Biggest team surprise: Lecanto

The rising junior varsity adjusted quickly to the pace of varsity play and bonded to give the Panthers a district runnerup squad.

Biggest surprise :Alex Crandall

Coming into this season, Goalkeeper Crandall probably felt more like Cody Shaffer's shadow. A talented Crandall sat the bench for three years waiting for his chance. It didn't take him long to break out though, and become a brick wall behind a sturdy defense. "He gets one year to shine, his senior year, and he just lit it on fire," Citrus coach Steve Ekeli said.

 

Top 10 season-ending stats

Goal scorers

Bodee Wright Citrus 20

Matthew Zarek CR 17

Bryan Tobin Citrus 12

Xavier Villachica CR 12

Mike Burnett Lecanto 11

Nick Becker CR 9

Richard Wilson CR 8

Sean Mulligan CR 6

Kevin Smith Citrus 6

Albert Bradley Lecanto 5

Tyler Cote Citrus 5

Chris Fleming CR 5

Eric Swanson CR 5

Chad Richie Citrus 4

Mike Watkins Lecanto 4

All else three or fewer

Assists (if available)

Wright Citrus 18

Cote Citrus 5

Richie Citrus 5

Tobin Citrus 5

Kevin Smith Citrus 4

Felipe Picado Citrus 3

Goalkeeping

Alex Crandall Crystal River

74 saves 15 total shutouts

Tyler Jordan Lecanto

112 saves 7 shutouts

Adam Santa Fe Citrus

85 saves

A.J. Waythaler Citrus

65 saves

Statistics provided by coaches

Best finisher: Xavier Villachica

The Crystal River forward wasn't the county's high scorer but he lit up teams when it mattered. He scored two goals to help the Pirates rebound from a deficit and win the district title. "It's nothing you can teach," Crystal River coach Michael Callaway said. "They just have it or they don't. Right now, he's money when he's in the box."