By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys soccer opponents can breathe a sigh of relief.
Dealing with defender Caleb Vallieu will now be the problem of Tiffin University opponents for the next four years.
The son of Todd and Melody Vallieu signed his letter of intent to play for Tiffin University on Wednesday in the Piqua High School commons in front of family and friends.
“This is one of my biggest accomplishments,” Vallieu said about realizing his dream to play college soccer. “To be able to have such a great school and opportunity, I feel very blessed.”
Probably similar to the feeling Piqua goalies have had for the last four years with Vallieu shutting down one scoring opportunity after another.
“The thing about being a defender is you don’t always get the credit,” Piqua boys soccer coach Danny Henry said. “Sometimes the credit goes to the goalie. It is always is (great to see players going on to playing at the next level). Especially someone like Caleb who works so hard. It is great for the program.”
Work ethic and passion are something Vallieu has always had for the game of soccer.
“Ever since I was little and my dad got me started in soccer,” Vallieu said. “I have (always loved the game of soccer).”
Over the last two seasons, Vallieu was second-team GWOC North as a junior and first team All-GWOC North as a senior, as well as being honorable mention all-area as a junior and second all-area as a senior, while also being selected for the Senior All-Star game.
“Caleb (Vallieu) probably deserved to be first team all-area and first team all-Dayton,” Henry said. “But, the thing about being a defender, there aren’t very many stats, so you don’t always get the credit.”
But, another of Vallieu’s assets is he is multi-talented. He has the leg and physical ability to play nearly any position.
An example of that is when Piqua gets a free kick, Vallieu usually comes up to take it.
“There are a number of different positions Caleb (Vallieu) could play,” Henry said. “In another tournament game this year, our goalie was out, so Caleb (Vallieu) played goalie. Sometimes at the college level, they move you around.”
But, Vallieu hopes to continue to be a defender.
“I want to stay on defense,” he said. “You always hope (to play right away), but I am just going to go to Tiffin and work my hardest.”
Which is why Henry expects Vallieu to be a success at the next level.
“Tiffin is a great fit for Caleb (Vallieu),” Henry said. “With his work ethic, there is no question Caleb (Vallieu) can go there and have an instant impact.”
Vallieu said his college choice was an easy one.
“It is a great program,” he said. “They go out there in the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) and back up there word with their play on the field (two regular season titles and three tournament titles since 2008).”
Just like Vallieu did for the last four years at Piqua, which is why the Indians opponents can breathe a sigh of relief.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.