Elmore County Player of the Week: Aguilar leads Panthers to 2 wins in 2 days

Brian Tannehill / For The Herald

Elmore County’s Jason Aguilar (3) extended his goal-scoring streak to four games during the win over Tallassee.

It was a busy week for the Elmore County boys soccer team. The Panthers had to play three games in three days but that did not stop senior captain Jason Aguilar from leading his team to two victories, including one crucial section win.

Aguilar scored one goal and assisted on three others in Elmore County’s 5-2 win at Tallassee last Wednesday. It was the fourth consecutive game Aguilar recorded at least one goal. He is the Elmore County Player of the Week.

“He goes 100 percent every single time he’s out on the pitch,” ECHS coach John Hilbish said. “The majority of those goals were from Jason. He was all over the place in that game.”

After scoring a goal in a 2-0 win over Prattville Christian on Tuesday night, Aguilar went back to work less than 24 hours later. He said he feels like his goal against Tallassee was one of the best of the season.

“I got a pass about 40 yards away from goal,” Aguilar said. “I took a dribble to my right and found some space before hitting the shot. It just dropped in for me.”

Aguilar said he knew the importance of the game against Tallassee and he did not want to take anything for granted. The Panthers wanted to get back to .500 in section play and while the Tigers have been struggling, Aguilar said the team had to stay focused to get the win.

“That one meant a lot to us,” Aguilar said. “It put us back on track of reaching our goals and getting into the playoffs. That’s the kind of game that pushes you. I think it helps me play a lot better.”

Aguilar plays as the main striker in Elmore County’s formation but he was doing more than just scoring goals against the Tigers. His three assists helped push the lead to 5-0 and Aguilar said he likes to get his teammates involved.

“I feel like it’s better for me to get involved in the passing game,” Aguilar said. “It helps build that trust with my teammates and I know they’re capable of scoring just as many goals as me.”

Hilbish spoke highly of Aguilar’s work ethic and leadership. While his goals would be more than enough for his contribution, Aguilar continues to go the extra mile for his teammates.

“Most forwards you can’t get them back to your side of the 50,” Hilbish said. “But Jason will work back to our side, help with defense, win the ball in the middle, he will do anything you ask of him. He’s a beast out there. And when he’s doing things like that, it pushes the other kids to do things like that.”

Aguilar and the Panthers wrapped up the busy week with a 2-0 loss to Alabama Christian, ending his four-game goal streak. Despite the loss, Hilbish said it was a great week for the Panthers and Aguilar knew there were lessons to learn from the three games.

“It was definitely tiring for us,” Aguilar said. “We didn’t have many subs because we had a lot of players sick and hurt so a lot of us had to play full games. We just have to try to take our time on the ball and get each other involved more so no one gets too tired.”