The PTP boys soccer players of the week

The PTP pick

F Jacob Kelly, Sr., Weeki Wachee

No player in the area has been better at scoring than Kelly.

In 10 matches, he has an impressive 26 goals, an average of nearly three per game.  

Two weeks ago, Kelly went on a tear, scoring a combined 10 goals in wins over Citrus, Hernando and Central. Sure, most of the goals have come in routs, but Kelly also has delivered in critical situations. 

Take the match against Citrus. Kelly had the lone goal to lead his team to a regular season sweep of the Hurricanes. 

Weeki Wachee started the 9-0 before losing to Lake Minneola on Wednesday. It was the match for the Hornets heading into the holiday break. 

The fans’ pick

F/D Marcello Valbuena, Sr., Tampa Catholic

The Crusaders, ranked 11th nationally by MaxPreps, have plenty of pieces in place to make another run at the Class 3A state title game. 

There tenacious defenders and pinpoint passers. 

As for scoring, Tampa Catholic relies on Valbuena. 

So far, he has been adept at putting the ball through the net, as evidenced by his team-leading 11 goals. Three of those came in a 4-1 win over River Ridge two weeks ago. 

That scoring surge helped the Crusaders bounce back from a loss to rival Jesuit, their only setback this season. 

The fans thought highly of Valbuena’s performance. He received more than 60 percent of the votes (172) to beat out Weeki Wachee’s Jacob Kelly, who had more than 32 percent (92 votes).