But no one plays bigger for the Reed boys soccer team than Dylan Valentine when he steps onto the pitch.
Valentine has been leading the Raiders in scoring since his sophomore season and his senior campaign is starting off much of the same.
“They’ve all been created with the help of my teammates, which is different this year,” Valentine said. “I don’t have to do everything myself. I have help from returners and new kids, such as Christian Martinez. He’s a big help. As long as they put the ball where I need it, I usually have a pretty easy time finishing.”
The 5-foot 5-inch forward put the ball into the back of the net 21 times in his each of his sophomore and junior seasons, and he has already scored nine goals this year for 51 career goals.
The Reed High administration is still trying to track down the record for most goals in a career, but records in certain sports are hard to come by. Some have said it’s 48, but 58 has also been thrown around as the mark. Either way, Valentine at the very least is on pace to break it with 13 regular season games to play.
“I’d obviously like to have it. Just having a record under your name is cool,” Valentine said. “I’m just here to work on making myself better. If it comes, it comes. It’s obviously Lord willing. If not, I know I’ve put in the work to be the best I can.”
Reed’s goals record in a season is still held by Travis Bartek, who scored 26 in 1999 according to the NIAA record book.
At 5-foot-5, Valentine certainly is at a disadvantage, but he uses his speed and will to overcome any challenge.
“It’s a big disadvantage being this tiny. As it shows with my stats, I don’t let it bother me. I’ll take on whoever it is, big or small, fast or slow. As long as it’s a challenge, it’s something I look forward to,” he said.
Valentine hopes he can go out on top in his final year with the Blue and Gold. He knows winning a regional or state title is a far reach, so he hopes he can continue improving in order to earn a chance to play at the next level.
Currently, he is looking at William Jessup University, Simpson College, Northwest Christian University and Arizona Christian University. William Jessup is his preference right now because of its location near Sacramento.
His goal is to find a school that offers him the things he values.
“I’m a huge believer in Christ. I’d love to go to a school where I can play the game I love and continue my walk with the Lord all at the same time,” Valentine said.
He is also looking for a school that offers nursing because he enjoys the medical field and he feels it’s one of the biggest needs right now in the world.
For the Raiders’ success, Valentine performing well is one of the team’s biggest needs. And for the past three seasons, Reed boys soccer coach Jeff Valentine has watched his son enjoy plenty of success.
“It’s nice. I’ve never really thought about it,” Jeff Valentine said. “It’s hard during the high school season when I am his coach, so I really spend a lot of time enjoying watching him play summer club ball because I’m so into the high school season. It’s not just Dylan because it’s our team, and I want to make sure our team is functioning well enough. He makes it easy on me. Let’s just put it that way.”