Everything former Hilton Head Island High School striker Eneo Torres can do with a ball was on display in one match, a first-round playoff contest against St. James.
As the clock inexorably melted away on a scoreless game and tension mounted, Torres took the ball into the penalty area and in a flourish of creativity, pirouetted and snapped a low strike past stunned defenders and the keeper to give the Seahawks a 1-0 lead.
Later, with the game in extra time, Torres sped by defenders. Given the opportunity to finish the move himself, he instead opted to lay it on a platter for teammate Koben Barrientos for what turned out to be the winning goal.
That combination of incisive, spellbinding individuality and selflessness was enough to draw the praise of area coaches and earn Torres recognition as The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet's All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Torres excels in moments where the angle appears to be too tight, defenders too close and options too few. But the recent graduate has a steady sense of confidence that there is always a way through, bred over years of practice with two older brothers.
"My strength has been dribbling and being creative with the ball," Torres said. "You could say I got it from them, and a little bit from myself."
His ability to work his way through complications is not limited to on-field play. Torres moved to Charleston a year ago hoping that it would help him catch the eye of more coaches and scouts. Those opportunities didn't come -- Torres admitted he was not as focused as he needed to be -- so he opted to return home to Hilton Head, where he could play with friends and under the watchful eye of coach Wayne Quinlan.
"Sometimes things don't go always right," Torres said. "(Coming home) was good, it was great. They're very good friends of mine. Especially Quinlan, because he's a great coach."
The all-state forward, who said he loves watching Portugal and Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo, tallied 17 goals in total to go along with eight assists. Even so, Quinlan said he felt Torres actually started the year slowly. Torres also missed five games due to academic issues, which Torres said acted as a wake-up call.
Now he is looking to further his career professionally. He was recently selected to join a showcase tour for players looking to catch on with teams. He will be traveling abroad late this fall as part of the tour, with stops in Sweden and Finland. He'll carry with him memories of that outstanding playoff goal and a series of shining moments that has hopefully helped put him on the verge of something bigger.
"That would be one of the ones that I will always remember, that will be a part of my life, that goal," Torres said. "It was an amazing moment."
DALTON NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR
Bill Dalton didn't expect this to be the year. That was last year.
His Beaufort Academy boys soccer team was different this year. It had lost its leading goal scorer. Dalton and his players thought they had been equipped for a state championship in 2013
And the Eagles weren't playing that well approaching the SCISAA 1-A/2-A playoffs this past spring. But they snatched some momentum with a victory over Battery Creek High School at the end of the season and continued playing well throughout the playoffs, eventually defeating Oakbrook Prep 2-1 at Heathwood Hall for the state title.
The championship was the program's first during the spring since 1999.
"We played by far the best soccer we played all year that last week," said the 47-year-old Dalton, The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet Boys Soccer Coach of the Year, who is working this summer for the 10th year at a soccer camp in New Hampshire. "The juniors were really just determined after last year when they felt like they should have won it to make a run at it, and it worked out."
Beaufort Academy graduated leading scorer Conner Akers and switched out its keeper, Reyn Robinson, for Ashton Guest. Robinson moved up top to forward late in the season after starting the year in the back.
Drummond Koppernaes was moved to midfield and Ross Walker to right wing, allowing Koppernaes and George Sanford to control the midfield throughout the playoffs, Dalton said.
The Eagles should have a lot returning next season. They won't have to wonder what might have been when they take the field again.
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Boys Soccer
Coach of the Year: Bill Dalton, Beaufort Academy
Player of the Year: Eneo Torres, Hilton Head Island High
F Eneo Torres, Hilton Head Island High
Comment: Speed and creativity on the ball led to 17 goals and frustrated opposing defenders
MF Noa Pagataptan, Hilton Head Island High
Comment: Sophomore provided an attacking threat in the middle of the field and dictated play offensively
MF John Ross Moise, Hilton Head Christian
Comment: Defensive midfielder was strong, aggressive presence who scored 10 goals, with seven assists
MF William Peterkim, Hilton Head Prep
Comment: Senior was region player of the year and North-South All-Star
F Teron Daley, Hilton Head Prep
Comment: Senior football-turned-soccer star excelled in only second year in the sport
F Akeel Crooks, Bluffton
Comment: Senior headed to Spartanburg Methodist after all-region and North-South selections
D Ken Mayo, Bluffton
Comment: Big-play defender was all-region and also headed to Spartanburg Methodist
GK Ben Wallace, Whale Branch
Comment: Warriors' goalie helped shore up much-improved defense
MF Sage Cross, Bluffton
Comment: Six goals and six assists for tireless who created a lot of scoring opportunities
F Hector Garcia , Beaufort High
Comment: 10 goals and 10 assists for all-region player who led Eagles with solid speed and technical ability
D Juan Carlos Negron, Battery Creek
Comment: Defender was like a second goalkeeper for Dolphins coach John Perry
D Jack Dailey, Beaufort Academy
Comment: Four-year starter played right back and center back, where he excelled during the Eagles' run to the state title