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Bull, Tiger named top players


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

BRANDON -- As a freshman, Tara Escribano beamed with pride as her older sister, Jana, received the Jose A. Alvarez Award in 1998 as the top girls player in Hillsborough County.

Wednesday, the Bloomingdale senior, who will play at South Florida, received the same award in the Alvarez living room, the same place her sister was honored.

Justin Trowbridge, the Jesuit goalkeeper, received the same award for boys.

Both players led their teams to state championships.

"This is an award representing more than just athletic ability," said Alvarez, a longtime youth soccer coach and community leader. "Academics and overall leadership on and off the field are taken into account."

Escribano has been a midfielder and co-captain for the Bulls for the past two seasons. She led Bloomingdale in points with 44 on 18 goals and eight assists. In the state final, she scored the winning goal in overtime.

"With all of the good soccer players in our county, it is quite an honor to be selected for the same award my sister received," Escribano said. "This was quite a season for us. We started slow, but our loss to Palm Harbor U. in the district final seemed to turn us around."

Trowbridge is being heavily recruited by some of the most successful colleges in Division I, including Duke and Boston College. He plans to make a decision next week. In the past two seasons, he recorded 33 shutouts and had a 0.56 goals against average in his last 60 games to lead the county. "This is just a tremendous honor, especially with all of the great players receiving it in the past and Jose Alvarez being a Jesuit graduate," Trowbridge said.

"I was honored just finding out I had been nominated, but this award is for our entire team. They all earned it."

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