APOLLO BEACH –- This is the time of year in the Hillsborough County soccer community where well-meaning parents contrive outlandish lies in an effort to keep very important secrets from their kids.
Kim and Chick Maffei told daughter Colby she needed to dress up for an LSU alumni meeting that her college coach, Brian Lee, couldn't attend due to NCAA rules. Alisha Durrance informed her son, Brett, that his father Don was receiving a surprise church award.
Truth is, Colby and Brett were being set up to receive the 2012 Alvarez awards, given the last 28 years to the county’s outstanding girls and boys senior soccer players.
Colby became the first girl from Tampa Prep to win the Janet Alvarez Award. Brett follows Tyler Hartlage as the second consecutive Jose A. Alvarez award winner from Jesuit and the fifth overall. Jose and Janet presented the awards during a dinner at their Apollo Beach home Thursday night.
"It's the most surprised I've ever been," said Colby, who leaves for LSU as Tampa Prep's all-time leading goal scorer (161). "It's a huge honor."
A member of the 2008-11 Region III Olympic Development Program teams, Colby caught the attention of her high school coach this year by leading the team with 19 assists to go along with her 52 goals.
"She was different this year," Tampa Prep coach Cindy Schofield said. "It wasn't about her, it was about her team. She got double- and triple-teamed and her assists were up."
Brett, a Rollins College signee, was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America all-American after leading a sophomore-heavy Tigers side to the state semifinals last winter.
A three-time FACA all-state forward, he finished with the third-highest scoring total (169 points) and second-highest goals total (70) in Jesuit history. The Tigers went 86-14-7 in his four seasons.
"I wrapped up the year in a good way," said Brett, whose Jesuit class finished the school year earlier in the day. "I know I've had a good career because my teammates always had my back."
Eric Vician, Times correspondent