Boys Soccer: Christopher Tovar develops into Nazareth’s top scorer, team leader

Updated: October 9, 2012 7:13PM

Christopher Tovar was a role player for last year’s Nazareth boys soccer team.

It was an experience he didn’t want to repeat, so the Chicago resident recruited his older brother for a series of workouts during the summer to help improve his skills. Tovar’s brother, Sergio, played for Nazareth and graduated in 2008. The informal practices between the brothers seemed to work because now Christopher, a junior, has become the leading scorer for Nazareth, which open the Class 2A playoffs Monday.

“He helped me a lot,” Christopher said. “We worked on my first touch. He helped me create my own shot.”

Tovar has 24 goals and eight assists heading into the regular season finale at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Oak Park-River Forest (10-6-1).

The fourth-seeded Roadrunners (13-7, 3-5 East Suburban Catholic) host 13th-seeeded Little Village at 4 p.m. Monday to open the postseason. The Nazareth Regional final will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 19.

Tovar scored two goals in a 4-1 victory at St. Patrick Saturday. Last year’s Roadrunners finished 9-10-3 and lost several seniors to graduation, so coach Douglas Hunt didn’t know what to expect this season.

“That was a big concern coming into the season. We had a big senior class last year. We graduated 40 somewhat goals on the offensive end,” Hunt said. “I knew [Tovar] was capable. He was a role player after two years with us. In his freshman and sophomore years, he was a fill in role player. This year, he has stepped up big time.”

Sergio Tovar played four years at Nazareth, but did not play in college. Christopher is the second of three siblings devoted to soccer. His sister, Brianna, also plays and attends eighth grade. She plans on playing for Nazareth in 2014.

Hunt provided some motivation for Tovar after last season.

“Last year, he told me I have to step up if I want to help the team,” Tovar said.

Tovar said he knew goal scoring would be a concern after last season, so that prompted the practice sessions with his brother.

Tovar also has stepped up as one of the team leaders with junior defender Mark Haraus. Nazareth has had to deal with concussion injuries to two players so Hunt has had to add freshmen Sam McLachlan and Kevin Vitek to his varsity lineup.

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