SIKESTON -- Sikeston junior Dakota Trevino is trying to disprove an age-old theory: In soccer, defenders can be scorers.
Through six matches this season, Trevino has accumulated three of the Bulldogs' first seven goals. For that effort, he has been selected as The Standard Democrat's "Athlete of the Week" for the period of Aug. 27-Sept. 2.
"It seems like I've always had a big leg," Trevino said. "But I value the training I've received from different coaches throughout my playing days."
Trevino began his on-slaught of the net during Sikeston's season-opener Aug. 28 against Hillsboro at the Sikeston Sports Complex. With authority, he powered a pair of free kicks past Hawks sophomore goalie Jarrod Huskey. Trevino added his third goal of the season during the 2007 Notre Dame SoccerFest Tournament on Saturday in Cape Girardeau.
"I'd like to believe that I have the biggest leg out there, but I'm sure there is someone else who might have a bigger one," Trevino said.
On Wednesday, a free kick from Trevino was converted into an assist after Sikeston midfielder Stuart Strohm re-directed a deflection past Kennett goalie J.J. Willett. It was Trevino's first assist this season.
Trevino said his success has come through practicing different kinds of shooting skills.
"I've worked with (Sikeston assistant coach Doyle) Noe on trying to develop different types of shots. There's a low shot that has the spin of a knuckleball and there's a high-arcing shot that is a floater."
Trevino scored with both types of shots to beat Hillsboro.
"He always has a never-say-die attitude that I really admire," Sikeston head coach Derrick Long said. "I named him as one of our captains because he has stepped in and taken a leadership role on this team. He is a mentally-tough player who has a work ethic that always gives 100 percent."
Long said he hopes Trevino's early-season success will rub off on the rest of his squad.
"As a team, we've had a shaky start, but we have been working hard," Trevino said. "I know this team will blossom as the year goes on. Since I've been able to contribute, it's worked out for the best so far."