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Athlete of the Week


Sarah Carvajal/The Rider
Sarah Carvajal/The Rider

Name: Leo Castillo
Sport: Soccer
Position: Goalkeeper
Classification: Senior
Major: Communication
Age: 22
Hometown: Houston
Who is your favorite athlete? “Lebron James because his work ethic is very good. He’s always training and taking care of himself so he can work. I think that’s good because he can follow through his steps and, hopefully, do something as big as he’s doing right now.”

Who is your role model? “My brother is my role model because I’ve learned a lot from him. He was the one that put me in the goal since I was a young kid. He’s the one who chose this position for me. He’s the one that has been pushing me through it. Every time he sees me with my head down, he pushes it back up.”

What is the best advice you’ve been given and by whom? “My dad always says trust in yourself and be confident. You know what you can do. Train every day to work hard every day.”

When did you begin playing soccer, and why? “I started playing soccer when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It has always been a family thing. I have a lot of cousins because I’m Hispanic and we always tend to have more. So, I have a lot of brothers, sisters and cousins, so we would go to a park and play. Then, I started getting into a little more competitive soccer. I became a goalkeeper when I was 13 or 14, and then we just went from there.”

Did you win any awards? “I won a championship with Tyler Junior College in the JCAA in 2014. I was an All-American both years. I was a part of the team in Tyler.”

What are your academic goals? “Get my degree because I know soccer doesn’t last forever. Any injuries can take you out of the game just like that. My parents always tell me to stick with my degree because you’ll live a little better life with a degree.”

How do you feel about being part of this team? “I was really excited when I came in because I was happy to be here. The coaches here are very smart, and they are not just trying to win a championship for them, but also for us, and develop us as a player and a person. I think that’s important because they tell us to play forward and go down the goal and pressure them because he wants us to play our best. They teach us how to play the correct way and be a student of the game.”

What are your personal goals for this season? “My personal goals are, first of all, to get into the WAC tournament, and win it. I think we have a good chance this year to prove ourselves a little more now that we have returning guys coming back and we’re helping the freshmen get incorporated quickly. It’s a process and it’s going to take time but we will get there.”

–Compiled by Sarah Carvajal

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