Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s David Vasquez dribbles the ball around defenders during a match earlier this season.
With an assist from his cousin and a standout tryout camp, Madera South’s David Vasquez signed his National Letter of Intent to play soccer next season at Simpson University.
Vasquez joins his cousin, Abraham, a 2019 MSHS graduate, and fellow signee Christian Meza at Simpson.
“Abraham gave details about me to the coach and he followed up with it,” Vasquez said. “I had a tryout with the school. I had to perform well and from the looks of my tryout, he liked what he saw. He gave me an offer. It came along during the season. We were going into the last game and the coach reached out to me and told me about the opportunity.”
Vasquez officially signed his NLI on May 3.
“It was an incredible feeling,” he said. “It was a dream of mine to get the opportunity because a lot of kids don’t get this opportunity. For some kids, it’s just high school and that’s it. I was grateful to get the opportunity to, not only continue my education, but also my soccer career.”
In addition to be able to continue his soccer playing days, being able to play with two high school teammates and friends just added to the signing.
“It is a dream come true to play with two other teammates,” he said. “It will be more comfortable and better with them around. I can’t wait to do unforgettable and make history like we did during high school.”
Also, by playing with his cousin, it will just be an extension of when they were children playing soccer with each other, this time at the college level.
“We were playing as young kids,” he said. “We always touched the ball together and moved throughout the years through middle school, high school and now college. To be the first from both our families to go to a university is just amazing. We know we have to put on and get it. We’re the first generation to go to a university. It will give my parents the ability to feel the college environment.”
Vasquez had offers at Waldorf University in Iowa and contacts from Fresno Pacific and Chico State.
“Simpson gave me a good scholarship,” he said. “Also, playing with two of my teammates made me feel more comfortable and know it will be better for each other.”
Vasquez carried a 3.8 grade point average at Madera South. He will major in psychology to become a counselor.
“I strived to do the best I can,” he said. “It was important to have good grades. My mom told me grades comes first. She told me if I didn’t have good grades, I couldn’t play. It kept me steady to know I have to be on the field to do what I love, I have to do the work in the classroom.”
“That’s something we preached from the beginning (getting good grades),” Madera South boys soccer coach Enrique Garcia said. “You have to have grades to get to the next level. They did enough to get themselves to the door. Their soccer and work ethic got them through the door. Now they are going to go to the next level and play the game they love.”
Vasquez also played a big part in last year’s Div. III NorCal State and Central Section championship team.
“I feel so grateful to be a part of that team,” he said. “I know all the hard work and dedication, not only from myself, we put on and it’s finally paying off. This is just another milestone we reached. We thank the man upstairs for this. It’s unreal. We have to be ready for what’s coming. It’s going to be tough.”
After three-plus years on the varsity squad, Vasquez knows all the hard work and dedication have been worth it.
“Every year, I’ve set a goal to be the version I could be and be better than last year,” he said. “I was happy throughout my season. I tried to get my goals and assists, as well.”
Now, Vasquez has his sights set on getting Simpson to the next level with two other teammate in tow.
“We’re not too far from home, but just being far enough to experience something new is what drives me,” Vasquez said. “It’s good that we’re all family. Having support from family is what we need. It’s a surreal experience and can’t wait until it gets started. Stay tuned, we’re going to put Simpson on the map.”