When Glenelg Country School's Chris Trent started the soccer season his goals were simple but ambitious.
He wanted to score 10 goals, and he wanted the team to have its first winning season.
Trent and his Dragon teammates far exceeded those goals.
The junior banged in 26 goals and had three assists, while the team compiled a 7-2-1 record.
Of course, the fledgling program hasn't yet reached the level where it can schedule Oakland Mills or Centennial, and it may never reach that level.
But 19 of 31 boys in the high school played on the team and helped it take another step toward eventually playing an all-varsity schedule, competing against other small private schools.
Glenelg played three varsity teams and seven junior varsity or freshmen teams this season. It went 2-1 against the varsity teams and 5-1-1 against the younger teams.
First-year coach Sandy Bishop, who taught and coached at Gilman in Baltimore from 1982-1986, was pleased by the season and by Trent's contribution.
"Chris was one of our leaders and took a real serious approach to the game," Bishop said. "He could play for a lot of teams. He has great acceleration, and it's really tough to take the ball away from him."
Trent, who has played soccer since he was 5 and is on the Western Howard County Wave, a traveling team, displayed good skills and was quick with the ball.
"I worked a lot on my skills last spring and improved my shot," he said.
This is his third season playing for Glenelg Country. He scored five goals last year as a defensive midfielder.
But when Bishop asked for offensive players at the start of the season, he stepped forward.
"I can't see him at any other position but center-forward," Bishop said.
"He traps and turns on the ball well and sometimes dribbled 30 yards to score."
Just three games into the season, Trent achieved his goal of scoring 10 goals, as he got five against the Rock Church Academy's varsity in an 8-2 victory, and four against the Sandy Springs Friends School's junior varsity. He scored once in a 2-1 season opening loss to the Gilman freshman team.
The most important win for the Dragons was against a Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference varsity team, Beth T-filoh, 3-2.
Its only losses were to Gilman's freshmen and the Key School, 4-3.
Against Key, the Dragons trailed 3-1 at halftime but rallied to tie the game and send it into sudden death overtime.
"Our ability to come from behind was just another reason why this proved to be a most positive season," Bishop said.
The Dragons also rallied to tie Mercersburg Academy, 2-2, after trailing 2-1.
The player who fed Trent most frequently on his goals was Jon Anderson.
Sameer Sharma also helped Trent score. Sharma scored six goals himself and Anderson three.
Goalie Jay Snider, who plays on the Wave with Trent, led the defense along with fullbacks Rory Burrill and Keif Olson.
Snider, who plays the field for the Wave, tied Trent with five goals for the Wave's scoring lead last spring.
"Jay is a good goalie, but the Wave had a better one," Trent said.
The Wave is coached by Glenelg High School's varsity coach, John Bouman, who led the Gladiators to their best season, 6-6, this year.
Trent lives in the Atholton High School district and might have played for the Class 2A state champions this fall had he not been at Glenelg. But he has no regrets.
"I feel happy for Atholton, but I like it where I am," he said.
He attended Clarksville Middle but felt uncomfortable with what he called crowded conditions. He wanted the lower 5-to-1 teacher-pupil ratio that Glenelg Country offers.
"There's no social pressure here, and I'm doing well especially in math and science," said Trent, who wants to major in veterinary medicine in college.
He takes an honors calculus program at Glenelg.
Trent's younger brother, Alex, played for Atholton's county championship junior varsity team.
In Trent's freshman year, the Dragons went 3-6-1, and last year they were 4-6. He thought this year would be better because of the large early turnout.
"We had 22 kids, and the spirit was higher than it had ever been," he said.
Trent said he was marked only twice this year. "A lot of teams just didn't know to mark me," he said.
Next year they may know better. It will be awfully tough to repeat a 26-goal season.