Hillsborough: Boys district soccer preview

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Sat. January 21, 2012 | Joey Knight | Email

Hillsborough: Boys district soccer preview

PLANT CITY — In a month or two, Jacob Brumbeloe will participate in a detailed ceremony where colors and pins are presented with equal solemnity.

At its end, he’ll be recognized as a full-fledged Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts’ highest ranking and the culmination of 11 years of character development, community service, even some cardiovascular training.

But in the interim, he’ll remain the Durant soccer team’s resident marked man, watching every last foe live out the Boy Scout motto, the one about being prepared.

Are they ever prepared for the sleek Cougar with the slight frame (5-foot-5, 116 pounds) and curly brown hair. Man coverage, double-man coverage, prevent defense — Brumbeloe has seen it all. Felt it, too.

“I’ve taken some hits,” he said. “I get pretty beat up out there.”

Yet he continues collecting goals as proficiently as he does merit badges.

The top scorer for Durant’s Class 5A state runnerup team last year, Brumbeloe has 24 goals in 16 matches this season — when everyone on the pitch knows the ball is coming his way. He enters the 5A, District 7 tournament with four hat tricks and one four-goal contest.

“I don’t worry about what the other players have to do,” Brumbeloe said.

“If they have to foul me …whatever they do to me it doesn’t bother me, I just keep my head on and play my own game. If they’ve got to mark me they’ve got to mark me. It’s not going to stop me.”

Coach Jamin Hollingsworth credits Brumbeloe’s skill, work ethic and undistilled courage.

“He’s fearless,” said Hollingsworth, noting that Brumbeloe’s goal total is further astounding when considering he’s not surrounded by the same talent as last winter.

“He’s not afraid to get laid out by a goalie, punched in the head. Some guys are afraid of that. He’s not.”
Apparently, the shots to the crown haven’t been substantial. The son of an Air Force officer, Brumbeloe carries a 5.4 weighted GPA in an advanced-placement course load including physics, economics, statistics and calculus.

In pursuit of Eagle Scout status, he constructed osprey nests for a local phosphate company and helped build a nest at Lowry Park Zoo. What’s more, he has lettered in two varsity sports, including cross country, despite being born without a right pectoral muscle.

By the middle of his freshman year, Brumbeloe already had earned a starting outside-midfield spot for what Hollingsworth deems the most talented team in school history. But he really exploded last season, collecting a team-best 19 goals and six assists.

It was midway through that season when Hollingsworth moved him up top with 6-foot-6 converted goalkeeper Connor Bass. In his first contest as a forward, a 5-2 victory against eventual 5A final four qualifier Gaither, Brumbeloe had three goals.

“That turned our season around,” Hollingsworth said.

He tallied eight more as Durant rolled through the playoffs, which ended with a shutout loss to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in the state final. This year, Brumbeloe is one of only four seniors on a Cougars side (5-7-4) Hollingsworth mostly had to reconstruct.

Who better than a Scout to assist with the craftwork?

“He surprises people with how good he is in the air,” Hollingsworth said. “He times his jumps really well. But the main thing is with his natural ability and his work ethic.

“And he’s fearless.”

District soccer schedules
Class 5A-7 at Newsome
Monday: No. 3 Alonso vs. No. 6 Riverview, 4; No. 2 Bloomingdale vs. No. 7 Plant, 6; No. 4 Durant vs. No. 5 Newsome, 8
Wednesday: Bloomingdale/Plant winner vs. Alonso/Riverview winner, 5; Durant/Newsome winner vs. No. 1 Wharton, 7
Friday: Final, 7

Class 4A-9 at Brandon
Tuesday: No. 7 Tampa Bay Tech vs. No. 2 Strawberry Crest, 4; No. 6 Armwood vs. No. 3 Hillsborough, 6; No. 5 Brandon vs. No. 4 East Bay, 8
Wednesday: TBT/Strawberry Crest winner vs. Armwood/Hillsborough winner, 6; Brandon/East Bay winner vs. No. 1 Plant City, 8
Friday: Final, 7

Class 4A-8 at Steinbrenner
Tuesday: No. 4 Wiregrass Ranch vs. No. 5 Chamberlain, 6; No. 3 Sickles vs. No. 6 Steinbrenner, 8
Wednesday: No. 2 Gaither vs. Sickles/Steinbrenner winner, 6; No. 1 Freedom vs. Wiregrass/Chamberlain winner, 8
Friday: Final, 7

Class 3A-9 at Leto
Monday: No. 9 Spoto vs. No. 8 Middleton, 7
Tuesday: No. 1 Jesuit vs. Spoto/Middleton winner, 6; No. 7 Blake vs. No. 2 Leto, 8
Wednesday: No. 4 King vs. No. 5 Robinson, 6; No. 3 Lennard vs. No. 6 Jefferson, 8
Thursday: Jesuit/TBD winner vs. King/Robinson winner, 6; Lennard/Jefferson winner vs. Blake/Leto winner, 8
Friday: Final, 7

Class 2A-9 at Clearwater Central Catholic
Wednesday: No. 4 Tampa Catholic vs. No. 1 Berkeley Prep, 5; No. 3 St. Petersburg Catholic vs. No. 2 Clearwater Central Catholic, 7
Friday: Final, 7

Class A-7 at various sites
Monday: No. 9 Citrus Park Christian at No. 8 Academy at the Lakes
Tuesday: Citrus Park/AATL winner at No. 1 Tampa Prep, 7; No. 5 Seffner Christian at No. 4 Bishop McLaughlin, 7; No. 6 Calvary Christian at No. 3 Cambridge, 7; No. 7 Carrollwood Day at No. 2 Indian Rocks Christian, 7
Wednesday at Indian Rocks: Cambridge/Calvary winner vs. CDS/IRC winner, 5; Tampa Prep/TBD winner vs. Seffner/Bishop winner, 7
Friday at Indian Rocks: Final, 7

Teams in post

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