APOLLO BEACH — Jesuit’s Michael Conlon and Steinbrenner’s Danielle Eule were both totally and completely duped Thursday night.
Conlon thought he was going to dinner with his family and Eule thought she was being forced to attend her dad’s “company dinner.”
About 6 p.m., Conlon and Eule showed up at the home of Jose and Janet Alvarez, who presented them with trophies, given each year to Hillsborough County’s top girls and boys soccer players.
“I’m stunned,” Conlon said. “I didn’t think I was going to win this award. There are so many great players (in Hillsborough County). This is quite an honor.”
Said Eule: “I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to a dinner for my dad’s company. OK, go with the flow.’ So this, to say the least, was a pleasant surprise.”
Eule’s coach, Sue Peet, believes Eule, a midfielder, deserved the award for several reasons: She proved to be an outstanding leader for a very young team, she was an outstanding citizen on and off the field, and she played with a controlled style that greatly benefited the Warriors.
Conlon’s coach, Eric Sims, had similar sentiments about his star senior: Conlon, a center back, led by example on and off the field. He finished with seven goals and three assists, but proved to be particularly effective as a defender.
“He was a great player to coach,” Sims said. “He is a great person.”
Conlon, however, is not planning to play in college (except on a club team), while studying business administration at the University of Mississippi.
“I already miss (playing for Jesuit),” Conlon said. “But I know I have to focus on my schooling.”
Eule is moving on to play at East Carolina, where she plans to major in psychology. Coaching soccer, she said, may fit into her equation somewhere along the line.
“I really did enjoy working (with Steinbrenner’s younger players),” Eule said. “That was one of the great things for me this season.”