What Dillon O'Neal did last week wasn't a surprise to anyone within the Rampart boys' soccer program.
He's been doing it all season.
"I think he was in the right form last week," Rams coach Karl Anderson said. "He always has had a nose for the goal. He's a good attacking player, and I think this last week, it showed."
O'Neal, a senior forward, knocked in three goals and had two assists in wins over Palmer and Chatfield to lead the Rams to an 8-0-1 record. That effort was enough to land him this week's Gazette Preps Peak Performer honor. So far this season, he recorded four multiple-goal games, including two hat tricks.
But O'Neal doesn't like to take all the credit, deflecting that attention to the people around him.
"We've kind of pushed to be more of a tight community, more as a family," he said. "All of us have contributed to that idea and we've all came together and respected one another. I've been bouncing ideas and learning from each other."
That approach has paid off. The Rams have not lost a game this season, and are shaping up for another run at the Class 5A Colorado Springs Metro League title.
Last season, they went undefeated in the league with a 6-0 record.
This season, the Rams have started off strong in 5A CSML action — thanks to a 6-1 win over Palmer last week. In that game, O'Neal recorded two goals and one assist. He followed that up with a goal and another assist in a 3-1 nonconference win over Chatfield last Saturday.
The Rams continue league play with a showdown Tuesday night against Fountain-Fort Carson (5-4-1, 0-1) at Pine Creek's Turf Field.
Both Anderson and O'Neal insisted that it's not about one player on this team.
The stats prove this.
Though O'Neal leads the team with 14 goals, other Rams have contributed so far — including juniors Oboyo Kuot (nine goals, seven assists) and Simagegn Collins (six goals, two assists). Another junior, David Peters, boasts three goals and five assists.
"Not just him," Anderson said, referring to O'Neal's play last week. "I think it was teammates around him as well. It's not just kind of one player on the team this year. We have a lot of good, quality players that are accomplished. It's been a good team effort this year. Dillon has been able to capitalize on his opportunities."
Dillon O'Neal, Rampart
Stats: In wins over Palmer and Chatfield, he notched three goals and two assists to lead the Rams to a 8-0-1 overall record. Against Palmer, he finished with two scores and an assist. He's had four games in which he scored multiple goals.
Other Peak Performers
Aumiere Shedrick, Harrison
The senior had three touchdowns on 24 rushes and 98 yards and added a receiving TD in the Panthers' 34-17 win over Pueblo County last Friday, helping Harrison to a perfect 5-0 record.
Joe Dunn and Peyton Brones, Colorado Springs Christian School
The sophomore-junior duo each finished with three touchdowns in the Lions' 49-0 thumping of Ignacio last Saturday. Dunn finished with 111 yards on four carries with his longest run of 56, and Brones had 170 yards on 10 carries.
Cameron Wheeler, Doherty
The junior forward had four goals and one assist in two losses last week, including his first hat trick of the season during a 5-4 overtime defeat to Cherokee Trail on Saturday.
Jayda Randle, Rampart
The sophomore centerfielder had one of her best games all season in a 25-22 loss to Westminster on Saturday, going 5 for 6 with three RBIs and a double.
Katelyn Ralston, Cheyenne Mountain
The junior went 4 for 6 with six RBIs and two home runs in wins over Sand Creek, Air Academy and Pueblo Central to improve the Indians' record to 13-9. She also pitched in those games, finishing with 32 strikeouts.
Christa Vogt, Colorado Springs Christian School
The senior had a key role in the Lions' 5-0 record last week, which included tournament play. In a big 3-1 win over rival Manitou Springs, she finished with 12 kills and five blocks. Vogt completed the rest of the week with 19 kills.
Kaela France, Ellicott
The sophomore outside hitter had an impressive all-around performance Saturday, finishing with 19 kills, 14 digs, six aces and one block to lift the Thunderhawks to a 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 25-16 win over Manual of Denver — the team's first victory this season.