Felipe Astudillo, Boca Raton: Post All-Area large school boys soccer player of the year
Friday, March 26, 2010
by Cristina Ledra
Felipe Astudillo. (Photo by Ray Graham / The Palm Beach Post
Felipe Astudillo wakes up some mornings and still can't believe it.
Weeks have gone by since Boca Raton won the Class 6A state championship, yet the feeling of disbelief lingers. The gold medal and how big a part he played in getting it, however, are real.
As one of the team's few seniors, Astudillo switched from midfielder to sweeper during the season, a move that proved to be the catalyst for the Bobcats' state championship run.
"I was really shocked at first," Astudillo said of being asked to make the switch. "I've been playing soccer since I was little, but I never really played sweeper and I just thought that was a lot of responsibility to have. It was just really different for me defending and playing from the back."
It wasn't an easy transition, especially during the season.
"Maybe one game after I started playing in the back, I started to feel a little lost," Astudillo said. "But I caught on really quick with the defense and organizing them and I started feeling really comfortable back there."
And at just 5-foot-3, the idea that he would be a good sweeper was almost laughable to Astudillo — until he gained a real understanding of the position.
"People think your height makes a difference, but if you're organized and position yourself really good, it doesn't matter," Astudillo said. "When we won like five games in a row, I was like 'Wow, me playing back here makes our team better and it doesn't really matter how short I am.' "
The whole team adjusted and soon the Bobcats had won their first state championship in 20 years.
"I thank my teammates and my coach for having me for four years and finally winning," Astudillo said.
COACH OF THE YEAR:
Marcelo Castillo, Boca Raton
Led a team of mostly freshman out of a slow start to the Class 6A state championship.
Goalkeeper: Brian Kilgallon, Boca Raton, Fr.
Undersized at 5-foot-8, but a technically sound player who plays beyond his years.
Forward: Kevin McEntee, Boca Raton, Sr.
Grew into a team leader for the Bobcats. Had 17 goals and 15 assists.
Forward: Colby Burdette, Boca Raton, Jr.
Despite being slowed by injuries, didn't miss a step as Bobcats' offensive leader.
Forward: Gregory Ismael, Palm Beach Lakes, Sr.
Had an explosive year offensively with 40 goals and 13 assists on the season.
Forward: Ney Neves, West Boca Raton, Sr.
Led the Bulls in scoring with 15 goals and eight assists.
Midfielder: Aubrey Ballard, Jupiter, Sr.
Scored 16 goals and also contributed 16 assists for the Warriors.
Midfielder: Juan Pierre-Louis, Lake Worth, Sr.
Led the Trojans in scoring with 21 goals and four assists.
Midfielder: Nico Olsak, West Boca Raton, Sr.
Added a scoring punch to the district champions' offensive attack.
Defender: Gilmar Rodriguez, Boca Raton, Fr.
Started every game as a freshman and was assigned to mark opponents' best player.
Defender: Bitelieto Jean-Jacques, Palm Beach Lakes, Sr.
Had 13 goals and 28 assists while splitting time between defense and midfield.
Defender: Jake Weiss, Jupiter, Jr.
Was Jupiter's staple in the backfield during the Warriors' undefeated regular season.
G: Ryan Arvin, Jupiter, Sr,
F: Sam Tover, West Boca, Sr.
F: Ronald Garcia, Suncoast, Jr.
F: Lucas Araujo, Boca Raton, Sr.
F: Abelson Estimable, Atlantic, So.
M: Curtis Berger, Jensen Beach, Sr.
M: Taylor Lombardo, Jupiter, Jr.
M: Desner Calixte, Atlantic, So.
D: Richie Bezold, Jupiter, So.
D: Hector Medolla, Boca Raton, Sr.
D: Jeff Hoover, Palm Beach Central, Sr.
Wellington — Aaron Dupere, Andres Londono; Okeechobee — Eddie Guererro; Park Vista — Erik Sosa; Dwyer — Jeff Michaud; West Boca — Dylan Betia; Boca Raton — Delton Wright, Gabriel Ramirez, Nico Midttun, Jeff Madsen, Diego Martinez-Conde; Jensen Beach — Casey Good, Austin Amstrong; Palm Beach Central — Danny Montoya; John I. Leonard — Danny Ballesteros, Francisco Santos.