TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The road to a state championship begins Wednesday night for the Saint John Paul II boys soccer team, a road senior Corey Stavres hopes to be riding on for a long time.
"I had no idea he was coming," recalled head coach Kenny Nwoko of when Stavres transferred to St. John Paul II his sophomore year. "I texted his brother, is he as good as you? He said no, he's not. He's way better, sorry! Way better. I hit the jackpot."
Stavres has helped the program win two district championships, their first, and he also holds the school record in goals scored, 56 in three seasons as a Panther.
"It definitely leaves me with a sense of pride knowing that I'm leaving this team with something to strive for."
"They feel like they're building stuff, and they want to be able to leave, especially the seniors, they feel like they can leave something for the underclassman," added Nwoko.
Stavres and his teammates want that something to be pretty special.
"It does bring a sense of nervousness in because it is my last season, but I feel as though that'll factor into our play," he said.
With the legacy he's left on the field, Stavres' accomplishments off, are just as impressive. He has a 4.49 GPA.
"He actually tutors some of the underclassmen, because we have study hall everyday," said Nwoko.
"It's definitely a challenge, and there are definitely quite a few sleepless nights that work into there, but it's definitely all worth it," added Stavres.
Worth the work and to see the results.
"It's definitely gone by a lot faster than what I was hoping, but it's been a great past three years," he said. "I'm excited for my last playoffs."
Excited to build upon what's already been started. Stavres told us he hasn't completely ruled out playing soccer at the collegiate level, and he plans to study mechanical engineering.
The Panthers host Mount Dora Christian Academy in the 2A regional quarterfinals Wednesday night. Kick-off is at 7:00.