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Athlete of the Week: Padilla powers Gators
John Paul Padilla, Bulloch Academy soccer player. - photo by MIKE ANTHONY/staff

    All teams want to get off to a good start to their season.
    When the Bulloch Academy Gators hit the soccer field for the first time Monday night, John Paul Padilla made sure his team met its goal. Though just a sophomore, Padilla looked like a savvy veteran, scoring twice in Bulloch’s 3-1 win over Robert Toombs.
    “It’s definitely good to get some success and score early,” Padilla said. “Every win we can get is big.”
    The Gators don’t have any time to savor the victory. Today, Bulloch travels to Augusta where it takes on Westminster in its Region 4-AAA opener. The Gators have an uphill battle in their region, but Padilla believes in his team. Six starters return from last season’s squad hoping to take the next step in 2012.
    “I think that we’ve got a ton of talented guys,” Padilla said. “Everyone has worked hard on their game during the offseason. We’ve got goals to be at the top of the region and play deep into the playoffs.”
    After today’s game, Padilla and the Gators will travel to Dublin for the annual Trinity Christian tournament, which will take place Friday and Saturday.