BRADENTON -- The number on the back of Gregorio Calvillo's jersey has changed with each passing soccer season.
He wore No. 2 as a freshman. Last year, he was No. 19.
This season, he was No. 7.
That one may stick.
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"I don't know if I'll change next year," said Calvillo, a junior forward at Palmetto. "But I like this number, so I might just stay with it."
Not a bad idea. The number may not have made much of a difference, but Calvillo had Palmetto's most prolific season while wearing it, netting a program-record 43 goals in leading the Tigers to their fifth straight district championship and a spot in the region final.
Consequently, Calvillo is the Bradenton Herald's Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
"He's made significant progress over the last couple of years," Palmetto coach Dustin Dahlquist said. "I thought the combination of him and his brother Pedro (29 assists) would be fairly successful. Did I think he was going to score that many goals? Probably not. But I didn't think it was out of the realm of possibility for any of our guys this year to break the record."
Bobby Stephenson set the Tigers' standard by scoring 28 in 2009. Calvillo passed it Dec. 22, when Palmetto played Seminole Osceola to a 1-1 tie during a tournament at Tampa Berkeley Prep.
Calvillo scored at least one goal in all but one of Palmetto's games -- another Dec. 22 game against Melbourne, though he did add an assist -- and totaled three hat tricks while scoring more than one goal 14 times.
"My goal was to break this record this season," he said. "I was thinking more along the lines of 30."
Calvillo is quick to credit Palmetto's coaching staff,
which helped the players hone their speed, footwork and finishing.
The praise doesn't stop there.
"It's not just me that's scoring the goals. It was a team effort that helped me score, especially my midfielders and outside," said Calvillo, who began playing soccer when he was 3. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have scored as many goals. I would have scored some goals, but not as much."
"It's a credit to the guys around him," he said. "I know there were times when Pedro would draw the defense to him, and then he would feed Gregorio. But Gregorio was at the right spot at the right time. We expect that of him. Within an 80-minute game, we expect him to score multiple goals. That's what we ask out of our forwards each game. That's part of the game, that's their jobs."
Gregorio, who also dished out 12 assists this season and scored twice during the Class 3A-District 10 championship game against Seminole Osceola, hopes to break his record next year.
Then, however, he wouldn't mind if someone else broke that record.
"It'd be cool for it to stay there, but I think it would be better for other people to break it so they have that accomplishment," Gregorio said, "so people would feel like they would have something to look forward to. People would be like, 'I've got to break this record, I've got to break that record.' ... It would be good to keep that going on."