Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Week: Alan Bautista, Sand Creek boys' soccer

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Photo - Sand Creek's Alan Bautista is this week's Peak Performer of the Week. Bautista scored two goals and had two assists against Mesa Ridge in the Scorpions' 7-1 win. Bautista posed for the photo Monday Sept. 11, 2017, at Sand Creek High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Sand Creek's Alan Bautista is this week's Peak Performer of the Week. Bautista scored two goals and had two assists against Mesa Ridge in the Scorpions' 7-1 win. Bautista posed for the photo Monday Sept. 11, 2017, at Sand Creek High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Call Alan Bautista a distraction. A skillful, speedy, pleasant distraction.

As a sophomore forward, he's helped the Sand Creek boys' soccer team to a 4-0 record with eight goals ahead of Tuesday's home matchup against Kennedy of Denver. It's not like the Scorpions necessarily needed more offensive firepower with the return of midfielder Garrett Kramer, who scored 17 goals last season, but they'll take it.

And when the ball is placed in front of his feet, Bautista is quick to send it toward the goal. Take, for example, what happened Wednesday, when the Scorpions took on Mesa Ridge in a road game.

The Sand Creek defense stole the ball after kickoff and directed it to Bautista, who quickly kicked in the game's first score in an eventual 7-1 win. The blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment took 15 seconds.

In last week's games, Bautista scored a total of five goals against Mesa Ridge and Widefield - enough to earn him the Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Week honors.

"He has one look," coach Jeremy Tafoya said. "He never gets flustered. He looks like he's having fun. If he's near the goal, he's scoring because of that reason. He's always composed."

The coach never expected Bautista's arrival.

He's from Mexico City, and he's here for one year through a military exchange program as his dad, a high-ranking official in the Mexican Air Force, is training with the American military.

The Scorpions said his presence could change the complexion of the season and help them make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Bautista's presence is also making life easier for Kramer, who averaged a goal per game last season. The senior midfielder can either keep the ball for himself or dish it off to Bautista.

For the Scorpions, that's a nice distraction.

"When I get the ball from the defense, I can turn around and play him and know that he can keep the ball for us," Kramer said about Bautista. "He's fast, very skillful and not afraid to take the ball against other players, which is a really good quality to have."

Besides trying to improve his soccer skills, Bautista is working on his English. He says he understands the language but doesn't always feel comfortable speaking it. That's why when he's on the field, Tafoya makes sure there's at least one Spanish-speaking player around. The coach has the luxury of four translators on the roster.

Asked what he brings to this year's Scorpions, Bautista didn't need help expressing himself.

In English, he used a one-word response: "Goals."