LAND O’ LAKES — Remi Pimm scores goals.
As if it were a natural ability given to him at birth. Like it was his job.
And it is his job. Call him Employee of the Year, given that Pimm, a sophomore, has 64 goals, which is a Pasco County record, five shy of the state record and leads the nation.
“I’ve just wanted to make an impact on this team, the season and, well, the county,” said Pimm, who transferred to Sunlake High from IMG Academy and also plays for the U-17 National Team. “I’ve always scored goals, but never this many. I just want to do my best for the team to win states. If I score goals or help others score goals, then that’ll be what I do.
“This is everyone’s team, not just one person’s team.”
It’s that unselfish play that has earned Sunlake its second straight Class 3A state tournament berth as it faces Merritt Island on Thursday. And in addition to his natural scoring ability, Pimm also has 39 assists, second only to teammate Connor Spencer, who has a county-best 42 assists.
“Having Remi on the team is such an asset because I know if I have an off night, then he picks up the slack,” said Spencer, who has 26 goals this season. “I don’t think I’ve ever played with someone who has such a great knowledge of the game.”
For the second straight season, Spencer is behind a 60-plus-goal scorer. Last season, Spencer was second to former teammate Connor Gilboy, who had 60 goals, and Spencer still notched 40 himself. Now Pimm, Spencer and fellow forward Cobi Shirmo have combined for 114 goals, playing in offense with an attacking midfielder, and all three can drop into that position and find success.
“Some people can just score goals naturally and Remi has that talent to just find the back of the net,” Seahawks coach Sam Koleduk said. “Connor has it, too, but Remi is also such an unselfish player that he could have 80 goals. He sets up Connor and Cobi well, and the one thing you don’t see is how he prepares for every game at a professional level.”
Pimm wasn’t out to break records, just score as many goals as he could. It wasn’t until late in the season he was made aware — by Koleduk and Gilboy’s teammates from last season — that he was not only approaching the team record but the county record as well. Pimm said after that he set out break the state record of 69 goals set by former Daytona Seabreeze soccer player and now Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
“It’s great to know that you have someone that can score at will,” said keeper Danny Hrenko, who has 20 shutouts this season. “It makes my job easier because I always tell my defense to preserve the shutout. If we do that, we have a good chance to win when Remi scores up top.”
That’s why Pimm plans to just his job.
“Getting records is good, but I’m out there to score, to help my team win,” Pimm said. “I was made well aware of this team and its success it’s had before I got here. I knew what it could do and knew we could get back to where they were last season. Now, I think we’re better and can go even farther to take it all.”
Correspondent Mike Camunas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MikeCamunas.