By Gary Curreri
Sun Sentinel Correspondent
Feb 11, 2022 1:16 PM
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The Boca Raton boys’ soccer team’s mantra is “humble and hungry.”
Junior Caleb Chapman and sophomore Vicente Allue each scored, while sophomore Brady Adams posted the shutout in a 2-0 victory in the Class 7A regional quarterfinal over Orlando Freedom High School.
Boca Raton (17-1-2) opened the season with a 4-1 win over The King’s Academy and then dropped a 5-0 setback to Dwyer High School. They have won five straight games since a 0-0 tie with Wellington and also have a 2-2 draw against Spanish River during the 18-game unbeaten streak.
To reach the postseason, the Bobcats won their 14th district title in Boca Raton coach Marcelo Castillo’s 17 years at the school. The Bobcats have won 23 titles in school history, including a district championship the year before he arrived,
Senior Daniel Trani leads Boca Raton with 14 goals and 10 assists, while fellow senior Devon Lunde has contributed 11 goals and 11 assists to the team’s offense. Adams has nine shutouts in goal.
Castillo said the team’s continued success over the years is due to a strong feeder program in the area.
“I honestly feel we have been successful because of all the successful clubs we have in the area,” Castillo said. “The population that we get and the soccer passionate backgrounds and cultures, mixed with the great facilities that we have. I think with me, we also have some consistency and stability like with what Rachael [Grimes] has done on the girls’ side. Before I got there, there were three coaches in three years.
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“I wanted to bring some culture and an identity, along with a style of play to the boys as a group,” Castillo said. “I am lucky in that I don’t have to make soccer players here. I just have to show them the nuances of the game and reload… maybe give them some responsibilities they are not used to in their club program.”
He compares this year’s team to his 2010 state championship team when he started eight freshmen in the state final. They graduated seven seniors from last year’s team and are just two years removed from a perfect season when they finished 28-0 and outscored the opposition 107-3. The school won state titles in 1990, 2010, 2016 and 2020.
“Honestly, at the beginning of the season I thought we would be OK,” Castillo said. “I knew we were young with only four seniors and we start three of them. The fourth comes off the bench for us and gives us good minutes.
“The first time we won a state championship in 2010, we started the eight freshmen, so I was not really scared of a young team,” he said. “You just never know what you are going to get out of a young team, so I am pleasantly surprised with the results. Were they unexpected? No. We could easily be undefeated and that is how good this young team is. The future is bright.”
In addition to Trani, Lunde, Adams, Chapman and Allue, the Bobcats have also gotten solid performances from freshman Rafael Azevedo, who Castillo calls the “best freshman in the county.”
“I have a feeling that we are going to be competitive against anyone we face,” Castillo said, “and if we have a little bit of luck on our side, we can win the whole thing.”