Kickin’ it: Senior soccer player supports teammates on, off field

Payton McKeehan

For years, senior Nick Cargo has spent hours playing soccer with his sister, peers from school, and club teammates. Evolving from the little kid who could barely keep up with the ball to the athlete who scored six goals in a single game, Nick has shown that hard work and perseverance pay off.

Throughout Nick’s high school soccer career Nick’s coach has watched him make great strides in becoming a more well-rounded player.

“I think Nick’s become a better team player,” head soccer coach Tommie Allmon said. “He has loosened up and learned to play with others better.”

Allmon also sees other players following in Nick’s footsteps. Many players have the skills to perform, but must be patient to gain the level headedness they need to take it to the next stage in their development as players.

“We’ve got some kids that are following him now,” Allmon said. “They have the ability, but are younger and need to mature more.”

Junior teammate Mario Garcia strives to imitate the ways Nick plays soccer both with the physical skill set and the right mentality.

“Watching Nick play makes me want to make shots,” Mario said, “because in order to win you’ve got to score. Nick has the confidence to take the shots when he sees the opportunity and he’s really fast and very talented.”

Mario also values the way Nick is a team player and how he always places the team’s success above his own.

“Nick always passes the ball,” Mario said. “He never hogs the ball, but he also knows how to take the shots to make goals and win games.”

Though Nick enjoys playing soccer, he plans to stay on intramural fields in the near future and focus on his education.

“I had a few offers to play soccer in college, but I didn’t like the schools I got accepted to and the one that I did get into that I liked didn’t offer me enough,” Nick said. “I would [like to play in college], but I don’t think I’m going to because I’m going to focus on academics and becoming an anesthesiologist.”

Nick’s teammates value his friendship off the field as much as they admire his skills on the field.

“He’s a really cool person,” Mario said. “He’s always buying people food and inviting us to go eat or go over to his house to play FIFA.”

Nick also recognizes how people have influenced his life through the sport of soccer, acknowledging that he has gained more than just athletic skills from the game.

“I enjoy soccer because of the people,” Nick said. “I’ve met a whole bunch of cool people and have been able to learn from them.”