Dillon: Top high school goal scorer in U.S. for fall ’22 season
Published 8:58 pm Monday, January 2, 2023
The national high school boys soccer leader in points and goals scored for the fall 2022 season hails from Rock Church School in Franklin, according to MaxPreps.com.
D.J. Dillon put together an incredible senior season this past fall, scoring 74 goals during an 18-game campaign in which he led the Rock Lions to their second consecutive 1A Mid-Atlantic Christian Athletic Association state championship.
He also generated a national-high of 166 points. Points represent a combination of production that includes goals and assists, with goals being worth two points and assists being worth one. Dillon’s 74 goals equaled 148 points, and added together with his 18 assists, his point total came out to 166.
A Virginia High School League news release from earlier in 2022 noted that MaxPreps.com is the nation’s most-visited site for high school sports coverage. MaxPreps has been on the prep sports scene since 2002 and has successfully partnered with 29 other high school state associations. MaxPreps.com also is an official partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations and the NFHS Network.
Dillon’s father and coach, Danny Dillon, said he did not know how much of a big deal his son’s top ranking was until he started looking at all the schools and all the players that are listed in the rankings on MaxPreps.com.
“You’re just talking about thousands and thousands of soccer players,” he said.
D.J. has 11 more goals than the second-ranked player and 19 more points.
Coach Dillon put D.J.’s achievement into context in reference to the city of Franklin.
“I’ve been here my whole life,” he said. “I don’t think in the history of our city that we’ve ever had the (top) national scorer. Matter of fact, I can say it with an almost 100% guarantee that we’ve never had this accolade in our city.”
D.J. said it was pretty surprising to see himself in the No. 1 slot.
“I knew I scored a lot of goals this season but never imagined that it would be enough to be on top,” he said. “It’s shocking!”
For his father, it’s particularly special.
“D.J. has been gifted from early on,” Coach Dillon said. “He works really hard, and so it’s almost like I’m in awe of it just because you’re not just talking about a regional leader or a state leader. He is one of the nation’s top scorers and just from little ol’ Franklin, Virginia. So (it’s) very special to us, and I think the biggest part is that, man, he just honors God through it, he stays humble through it.
“So yeah, super proud that Rock Church School has the No. 1 scorer in the nation,” he added. “That’s pretty cool.”
D.J. reflected on what helped him reach this level of achievement.
“God placed in me, at a young age, a desire to play sports,” he said. “My parents always encouraged me to do my best. Those things combined to drive me to work hard in all that I do. God has blessed me with great opportunities throughout the season, and I’m thankful for that.”
In his sophomore season, D.J. scored 24 goals. As a junior, he scored 42 goals.
Coach Dillon gave his take on why D.J. was able to increase his scoring output as a senior by 32 goals.
“He’s always been our lead goal scorer,” Coach Dillon said. “We only lost one or two players from last year and the main player was the goalie, so from 42 to 74, I think it’s just way more about him getting better. Obviously, someone had to pass it to him, but yeah, he was just next-level this year.”
Across his high school career, D.J. scored 233 goals and handed out 92 assists in the course of leading the Rock Lions to a 104-14-8 record.