Rubio helps secure Lafayette's first-ever district title

Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.

Facing their second straight overtime playoff game, two gassed Lafayette seniors came up to their coach with a simple request: “We want to make history.”

About 8 minutes later, Jose Rubio backed up the talk with a game-winning goal that handed the Hornets their first-ever district championship.

The senior — who scored only 3 goals during the regular season — has racked up all but one of Lafayette's five postseason goals.

After finding the back of the net twice in the Hornets' 4-3 penalty-kick win over John Paul II in the district semifinal Wednesday, Rubio came out with a goal in the first 40 seconds against Maclay.

Many of the Hornets, already tired from their marathon game earlier in the week, were coping with the flu, according to coach Danny Glover. As they kept fighting throughout the game, which Maclay tied in the 18th minute, Glover faced “kids throwing up at halftime, turning white as cotton on the bench.”

The determination his team showed in regulation to maintain the tie is what fired Rubio's quest for history, the coach said.

“Our big thing this year is to be a family,” he said. “When the two older brothers said that, the younger kids looked up to them and knew they needed to send them out district champs.”

Rubio's second goal of the game came 8 minutes into overtime, sealing the win, District 3-2A championship and home-field against P.K. Yonge in the regional quarterfinals.

Even with the down year, Rubio “never hung his head, pouted or complained,” Glover said, adding that Rubio was the first to congratulate younger players who replaced him in regular-season games.

“For the young kids to see how he's been playing all year but still pushing, it shows them that if you keep working hard, good things are going to happen at the right moment,” Glover said. “He weathered the storm and caught some great bounces.”


CALEB LEE, ST. FRANCIS: With a 22-point performance against Newberry, the senior point guard reached 1,000 career points for his high school career. The Wolves went 3-0 for the week with Lee leading the team in assists in each game.


NATHAN LOFTY, BUCHHOLZ: The senior got a reversal in the last 30 seconds of his match Friday to score a one-point win and a city championship at 130 pounds. The all-area selection went 2-2 on Saturday for the Bobcats.

Honorable mention


EZRA WALLACE, ST. FRANCIS: The senior guard averaged 19 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 2.6 assists over three games for the Wolves. In a win against Hamilton County on senior night, she netted 20 points, grabbed 5 steals and 9 rebounds.


RYAN DASILVa, SUWANNEE: The senior center defender lead the Bulldogs' defense to two shutout wins in the District 5-3A tournament, scoring a goal in the process.

MATTHEW PENNINGTON, SUWANNEE: As if a shutout win in the Bulldogs' first district game wasn't enough, the defender scored two goals against Newberry. The senior came back to play every minute of another shutout against Santa Fe.


SANGAR MAJBOOR, BUCHHOLZ: The senior pinned both his opponents within 30 seconds each to claim a city championship at 215 pounds for the Bobcats.

Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.

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