All-First Coast boys soccer: Trey Langlois' season features 62 goals, State Mr. Soccer Award
Jacksonville athletes have captured their share of Mr. Football, Mr. Track and Mr. Swimming awards when state award season rolls around — but never soccer.
Until Trey Langlois.
The Bishop Kenny senior scored an astonishing 62 goals in the 2014-15 campaign, becoming Jacksonville’s first winner of the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Soccer award and earning local honors as the Times-Union’s All-First Coast boys soccer player of the year.
Knifing through defenses with turbocharged acceleration and blasting home dozens of loose balls around the box, Langlois set a new bar for Jacksonville soccer in a season that dispelled all the doubters.
“I’ve always been looked at as an underdog,” Langlois said. “Even when I was being recruited by colleges, the biggest thing was, ‘With your size, you might not be able to play at the Division I level.’”
Too small for prime time? Not anymore.
Two big decisions, one personal and one tactical, helped prepare Langlois to lead the Crusaders to the District 4-2A championship.
Langlois had previously split his time between soccer and football — his last game on the gridiron was the Crusaders’ epic 74-73 loss to Clay in 2013 — before committing to soccer full-time after ACC champion Clemson came calling.
“They said if you’re going to be committed to us, you’ve got to commit yourself completely and wholly, and that comes with sacrificing football,” he said. “I was willing to make the sacrifice.”
Then, Bishop Kenny coach John Auldridge decided to post Langlois on the outside of a three-man front line, where he was able to escape the attention of taller defenders and use his elusiveness to maximum effect.
“When you’re coming straight at something from up top, it’s much more difficult than from a wider position,” Auldridge said. “So I think that switch helped him quite a bit.”
After a December tournament in Tampa, where Bishop Kenny hammered traditional powers St. Petersburg Catholic 8-0 and Shorecrest Prep 9-1, the whole state had to take notice.
Along the journey, Langlois learned to handle every crunching challenge that opponents sent his way.
“His feet are so quick,” Auldridge said. “Most teams had to resort to hacking at him, fouling him to slow him down. It made him a target, and it’s very difficult to match for most teams.”
Now, Langlois becomes the latest to tread the pathway from the First Coast to the South Carolina foothills, following Nease standouts Nathan Sturgis (currently with the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer) and Michael Melvin in wearing the orange of the 1984 and 1987 NCAA champions.
At Clemson, he’s expecting to change positions again, this time to an outside fullback position where he can use his lightning launch to zoom upfield into the attack.
But even though his new role is defensive in name, Langlois isn’t planning to stop his goal-scoring ways anytime soon.
“At the collegiate level, that’s one of the main attacking players,” he said. “They like to get them up forward. ... I’m trying to start as a freshman. I’m going to work my tail off in order to get that starting spot.”