Balancing Act: Manriquez Team Captain & Successful Student

Balancing Act: Manriquez Team Captain & Successful Student

Leo Garcia, Staff Writer

The ball is part of his lifestyle, being a leader is now a trait of his. The sport of soccer has taken a huge impact on the life of senior Vladimir Manriquez. Growing up, his whole life revolved around playing soccer whether it was competitive or just for fun.

Fall has always been the season Manriquez likes because that is when he has the most fun playing soccer with his friends and for Round Lake High School.

He has been on the RLHS varsity soccer team for three years and has proved himself worthy of captain after his first year on the team. As captain, he has led the team to many championships. Being captain of the varsity has been difficult for Manriquez, but he accepts the important responsibility. Although Vladimir is very passionate about the sport, he cares more about going to college for academics than playing soccer.

It was just his sophomore year when Manriquez was selected to be on the varsity soccer team. “I was nervous of what the other players thought of me,” Manriquez said. As a sophomore, being with upper-classmen was terrifying for him, “I felt unwanted because of how good varsity already was.” However, getting to know his coaches and teammates, he became more accepted. “I gave it time and after a few practices, I became comfortable with the team and wasn’t nervous anymore.”

After his successful first year on varsity, Manriquez was handed a captain arm band, and has had it now for two years.

“Being captain is obviously a huge responsibility, but it doesn’t really matter high school level, it really only matters to the refs.” He added, “But I make sure the team isn’t fooling around at practice or pre-game when they should be focused and taking it seriously.”

“Vladimir is a real leader, always pushes everyone on the team during games, but more during practices because he wants the team to be the best it can,” said junior Jakub Bialkowski, playing his first year with Manriquez on varsity. “He’s a great guy you can count on, on and off the field.”

As of freshman year, Manriquez has been thinking less of soccer and more of college. “I really don’t care if I go to college whether it be because of soccer or not, I honestly just want a good education,” Manriquez said. “Soccer will always be my favorite sport, and nothing will ever change that. My dream of playing soccer professionally ended freshman year, and it was freshman year that I got serious about college.” His love for soccer hasn’t died down, he has just been thinking more about college and his future.enior

Manriquez has cast an eye over various colleges, but the colleges that have caught his attention are Xavier University and Trinity International University. Xavier University is located in Cincinnati, Ohio which Manriquez says, “Xavier University has a good soccer team. Even if I don’t play soccer, I’d love to go watch their games whenever I’d have time. I went to one of their games last year and it was really amazing watching such good quality soccer.” Trinity International University is located in Deerfield, Illinois so Manriquez won’t have to leave far from home. “I don’t know why, but I really like both of their campuses, both schools kind of felt like home.” Manriquez has applied to many colleges, but Xavier and Trinity University are his top two choices.

As for careers, Manriquez isn’t set on a specific one just yet, but has considered equipment designing for sports. “As a kid, I’ve always wanted to design my own cleats and have professional soccer players wear them in game,” he recalled. He has started to design soccer jerseys and some amazing logos. Manriquez isn’t just skillful and creative with a ball, but with pen and paper too.

Manriquez has been an important part of the varsity team ever since becoming captain. He has shown his teammates the definition of a leader by achieving championships back to back. Putting school work before the sport that flows through his blood reveals how serious he is about college and his future. “‘I’m always trying to work hard in soccer and in school to become a better player and student.”