Freshman athlete demonstrates leadership on varsity team

Working with scissors and construction paper, learning to read independently, forming letters on three lined paper – all these skills, children begin to learn as five year olds. Freshman Angel Quiroga began fostering another, more athletic skills at the tender age of five – playing soccer. Angel has been playing for the past ten years and, just like the other skills students begin to learn in kindergarten, he has made huge strides in his soccer career by playing on several teams before high school.

Angel plays on the varsity soccer team which requires him to have the mindset, skills, and experience that other players on the team have developed during high school.

“[Angel] came in with the ability to play well,” boys soccer coach Tommie Allmon said. “But I think he’s become more comfortable around the others relationship and playing wise.”

Being the only freshman on the team comes with a lot of challenges like creating many relationships in order to better the team.

“Being able to work as a team [is important] because you can have a lot of good players on a team,” Angel said. “If you don’t have a relationship with the other players your team won’t perform the best.”

As a newcomer to the team, there are many challenges. These trials allow players to gain new skills beforehand that help them overcome future challenges.

“We’ve had freshmen on varsity before,” Allmon said. “Typically, if you put a freshman on varsity, not only is there skill good enough, but their maturity level is high enough to fit in with the older guys. Angel has both skill and maturity.”

It may be tough to be the rookie because of the challenges that Angel faces, but as time passes Angel has developed skills that have helped him lead the team to victory.

“He tries hard and he motivates us as a team to try harder,” senior Aldahir Diaz said. “[Angel] makes us play like a team and doesn’t argue with us.”

Angel may be on varsity, but he has been playing soccer for most of his life. Angel has gained a lot of playing skills, but he’s also gained skills in other aspects like respect towards his teammates and towards his coach.

“He’s got speed and skill, he also understands the game from the soccer side of it,” Allmon said. “But on the other side, he’s a good young man. He’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kind of guy. He practices and does everything you ask him to.”