Boys soccer | Palmetto earns sixth straight district title behind Calvillo's two goals

adell@bradenton.comJanuary 25, 2014 

PALMETTO -- Gregorio Calvillo can't play defense.

No one at Palmetto High is fretting.

It's a reason the senior is the most prolific scorer in the history of the boys soccer program.

"When he was a freshman, I had him playing defense. He was tall and a little bit goofy, and I didn't know what to do with him," Palmetto head coach Dustin Dahlquist said. "He wasn't very good on defense and towards the end of his freshman year I decided to put him up front with his brother. It worked out pretty well."

You think?

Calvillo scored two goals to lead Palmetto to a 4-1 victory over visiting Seminole on Friday night to give the Tigers the Class 4A-District 10 championship and their sixth straight district title.

The two goals gave Calvillo 46 for the season, adding to his single-season school record he set last year with 43. The previous record was 28 by Bobby Stephenson set in 2009.

"I am four and four for districts. I was with my brother (Pedro) for the first three, and it feels good to win one by myself and the team," Calvillo said. "For the goals, I give all the credit to my team. I couldn't do it without them. It's been fun scoring, but we are not done yet. I give credit to our strength and conditioning coach for our offense. Our guys are extremely explosive. We finished more chances tonight."

Seminole (14-8-1) had virtually no chance. The Tigers (20-2-1) came at the WarHawks in droves, finishing with nine shots on goal and kept the pressure on all game.

Calvillo got the game's first goal with an assist from Raul Loera. The Tigers led 2-0 at halftime thanks to a goal by Javis Paniagua with an assist from Tyler Lawrence.

"It's fantastic every year and every year it's more difficult," Dahlquist said. "This is a tremendously tough district with all the teams from Pinellas County and our kids responded well. We got a championship out of it, but it's just the first step.

"We graduated 12 seniors last year, and they were some big-time players, pretty much our guys up the middle. We've been successful because we get good players. We get kids who buy into it and want to play for Palmetto, the community itself."

Palmetto added two second-half goals. Calvillo scored with an assist from Hunter Brown, and Brown got one with an assist from Loera. Seminole got its only goal in the last two minutes when the Tigers had a lot of their reserves in.

Palmetto will be making its ninth straight region appearance Thursday when it is home in the Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinal against the District 9 runner-up. The Tigers are ranked ninth overall in the state and fourth in Class 4A. They reached the state final four last year and lost in a first-round match.

"We have five guys on the team who started all four years (Calvillo, Paniagua, Brown, Lawrence and Usiel Martinez). We built a foundation with those guys," Dahlquist said. "They've grown up ever since, and this is their fourth district. Gregorio's 46 goals is just amazing, and he has fully bought into getting us as far as we can go this year."

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