Daily Pilot Cup: Mariners' double trouble

Daily Pilot

Bruno Campos tells the story of his twin sons' birth with great fondness. It seems Travis and Dylan Campos have always been linked.

Before they were born, Travis appeared to have had a perfect path to the birth canal, but Dylan made a move that blocked Travis. The twins' arms were locked. Doctors then performed a C-Section surgery. For the record, Travis was born one minute before Dylan, their father says.

The Campos twins have a tight bond for sure. It's as if they know each other thoughts and reactions. For the past two years, that has been evident in the Daily Pilot Cup, the youth soccer tournament that starts today and ends Sunday.

Travis and Dylan led Carden Hall to its first gold division title two years ago on the boys' third- and fourth-grade level, and they repeated the feat last year.

But this year, the Campos twins have taken their game to Mariners Elementary, as they transferred to the school this year.

The two 11-year-olds have never lost a game in the Pilot Cup. They plan to keep it that way.

"I think we'll probably win [the boys' fifth- and sixth-grade gold division championship]," Dylan says. "The Rea team might be the same team we played in the third grade. If it's still the same players then I think we'll have a shot."

Last year, Rea beat Mariners in the title game, 6-1, to capture its eighth championship in the boys' fifth- and sixth-grade top division. It was the Sharks' third straight title

But now the Campos twins want their third consecutive championship.

"I would watch out for their defense," Travis says of the Sharks. "I don't think that they're that strong."

The brothers' confidence comes from their perfect record, as well as their relationship on the pitch.

When it comes to soccer, they use their chemistry to their advantage. Of course it doesn't hurt that they are talented and highly skilled players for their age. They amaze most onlookers with their level of play.

Travis is more adept to scoring, while Dylan is productive as a midfielder.

"I really enjoy playing with him," Travis says of his brother. "On a lot of plays, I'll be able to read him and he'll be able to read me. If he has the ball he can find gaps to get the ball ahead. It's just really fun to play with him."

Dylan and Travis certainly had fun the past two years at Carden Hall, leading the Eagles to two gold division titles. They transferred to try the public school system and because of economic reasons. Bruno says tuition was $9,800 a year for each son at Carden.

The twins had a hard time adjusting early on at Mariners. But now they enjoy the school. They want to end the school year with some more good times. They would be happy to lead Mariners back to the title game and win its first gold division championship.

"I think what they're adding more than anything is a sense of skill and ball control in the middle of the field," Mariners Coach Jeff Braun said. "They are really good distributors and clearly they know how to finish too ... They are very heady."

The twins realize it's not all about them. They both know the importance of teamwork in soccer. When Carden Hall won the title two years ago, they helped Sawyer Farmer get open for two goals in a 4-0 win.

Farmer also transferred to Mariners. This is his second year at the school.

Dylan and Travis have also had success aside from the Pilot Cup. They helped a boys' under-10 AYSO team, the Corona del Mar Green Tigers, to the state championship. Bruno coached the team and he says he still receives good comments from that team and those experiences.

Recently, the twins had been playing club soccer, but they switched back to AYSO. Travis has been dealing with Seever's Disease, which causes heel pain.

But Travis is good to go for the Pilot Cup. The brothers like to play in the tournament. Winning is fun, of course.

Bruno is excited to see them help Mariners. He knows more than anyone how his sons can feed off each other and make a good team great.

"As a midfielder, Dylan is like a Joe Montana," Bruno says. "He gives it to you exactly where you want. He's a very smart player.

"Travis is the more aggressive one. I would call him the cobra. He attacks. He can finish from the left or the right. The partnership between the two is incredible."

Daily Pilot CupWhen: Today through SundayWhere: At various fields in Costa Mesa, including the Costa Mesa Farm ComplexOf Note: The 11th annual tournament features 201 teams, 30 elementary schools represented in boys' and girls' divisions.On the web: For results and schedules, visit dailypilot.com

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