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CRESTWOOD – Will Vitalis won’t be doing any swimming during the Labor Day holiday this year.
Vitalis, a senior to be at South Oldham High School, cut a tendon in his foot on a boat propeller last year swimming in Lake Cumberland and missed most of the high school season.
“I don’t think anybody is going to let me in the water this year,” Vitalis said.
While he sat out all but four games, Vitalis is primed for a big senior year after being named the Kentucky Youth Soccer Eurosport Player of the Year.
Vitalis had a successful club season with his Javanon team that reached the national tournament for the second year in a row earning him the player of the year honors.
“My dad already knew, but I was really surprised when I got the letter telling me I won it,” Vitalis said. “I thought I had a good club season. I accomplished a lot of goals and the team even did better than we did last year, we just came up a little short.”
In his short season last year, Vitalis scored eight goals in the four games including a pair of three-goal hat tricks in wins over Campbell County, Christian Academy, North Oldham and Elizabethtown.
The injury was doubly frustrating for Vitalis as he missed a chance to play with his older brother, John, SOHS’ goalie.
“I felt like I was already on form so it was really hard to sit out,” Vitalis said.
Vitalis’ return will be key for the Dragons this year who must replace 15 seniors.
“He’s a huge addition to our lineup,” SOHS coach Denis Beall said. “He is capable of taking over a game like the Kemper kid at Oldham did at times last year. He can score two or three goals in a hurry.”
Vitalis has already put his firepower on display this season. In the Dragons’ preseason scrimmage against a strong East Jessamine team that ended in a 5-5 tie, he scored three goals and had a pair of assists.
“The guys love having him back in the lineup,” Beall said. “He can change a game any time he is on the field.”
Vitalis, who has verbally committed to play at the University of Louisville, is one of the big reasons the Dragons are looking to unseat cross-county rival Oldham County from their regional dominance of the past six seasons.
“I think we have the kind of team that can win the region,” Vitalis said. “Offensively we have been doing really well. If we can get our defense organized we can be really good.”
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