Soccer player comes home
Former Madera Coyote Britney Quiroz played for the Fresno Freeze this year after playing with the San Diego Sea Lions the past six seasons. Quiroz, a 2007 graduate, moved back to Madera this year and joined the semipro Freeze. (Courtesy of Fresno Freeze)
In the nine years since she graduated from Madera High School, Britney “Q” Quiroz has made her way back to Madera to help lead another soccer team.
She graduated from MHS in 2007 and led the Coyote girls soccer team in goals and assists her senior season. She played at Fresno City for two years and played at Cal Baptist College in Riverside for another year.
For the past six years, Quiroz played for the San Diego Sea Lions of the Women’s Professional Soccer League. However, decisions in her life have brought Quiroz back to Madera and she is helping another team succeed — the Fresno Freeze.
“San Diego was like family for me,” she said. “It was really hard for me to decide to come back. It was a crazy decision and a decision that I didn’t think was going to happen. At this time in my life, things were coming together to push me to coming back home, which I am so super happy about.” Quiroz was attending San Diego State, majoring in kinesiology/physical therapy. However, she changed her major and looked at other schools.
“That was my goal since day one of leaving the Central Valley,” Quiroz said of going into physical therapy. “I’ve been pursuing that for six years. Over the past year, I hit a wall in the kinesiology program and decided to change my major to business administration with my job in San Diego. I like the whole paperwork, computer-side of doing things. I really enjoy that and realized that was more of my passion. When I broke my leg as a freshman in high school, I fell in love physical therapy because of my recovery. I love physical therapy and love to be around sports. That’s what it was since Day 1 of breaking my left.
“Growing up and being on my own in San Diego made me find my inner-self and I’m realizing I love sports and playing sports, but having sports in my career, that’s not my passion. I need to move forward in my passion.”
In looking at schools, Quiroz saw how Fresno State has one of the better business administration programs in the state. However, she was not going to make the move unless she could continue to play soccer at a high level.
“I was not moving back unless I was still going to play semipro soccer,” she said. “I was not going to play on a women’s league on Sunday. I found the opportunity to play with the Freeze and the heart is always going to be home. A lot of my future guided and pushed me back to Madera.”
Quiroz helped guide the Freeze to a 7-1-2 record in the WPSL and fell just a half-game out of the playoffs in the organization’s second year of existence.
“It was a foundation year for us and we are attached to the Fresno Fuego,” she said. “Since we’re so small, we’re all about family. We have to come together. We’re like the underdogs in the league.”
Quiroz won a national championship with the Sea Lions in 2013 and hopes to bring another to the Freeze.
“When I thought about coming down, I hit up the coach and let him know about my history with the Sea Lions and he offered me a spot on the team,” Quiroz said. “That basically made my decision, when I could sign with my hometown team. I signed with them and made my way back home. I’ll help build that team. With my experience with the Sea Lions, I am able to bring that mentality to build that foundation. I’m excited about that.”
One of the biggest differences about playing with the Sea Lions and the Freeze is the professionalism the Freeze brings because they partners with the Fresno Fuego.
“With us attached to the Fuego, the Fuego brings us up to that level in professionalism,” Quiroz said. “That’s amazing. My first game, I went to the home field at Chukchansi Park, in the locker room had our jerseys hung up in each locker. It was like walking into this professional, new atmosphere. It was neat to walk in there. It was really cool. I was Snapchatting my former teammates in San Diego and they were commenting back. In San Diego, we played at high schools. So we don’t have full on locker rooms like that. It was really cool to play with the Freeze and see that high professionalism they hold us up to. They are definitely trying to get us more involved next year. They are looking to next season to be an even bigger season since it’s our third. I’m super excited to keep playing these girls and build this foundation, knowing that it’s my hometown.”
With the Freeze, Quiroz found herself playing with some of the girls she played with in high school and even found a couple of players that she played with in San Diego.
“That was pretty cool to find out,” she said. “I’m definitely catching up with the girls and getting to know them. We’ve played against each other for so many years and now we’re playing on the same squad. For once, there wasn’t any players that I went against. They are all ones that I can get along with. It’s a good squad.”
Now that Quiroz has returned home, she doesn’t regret the decision, although the summer heat may give her second thoughts.
“I feel really good about moving home,” she said. “I’ve been gone for seven years and experienced a lot on my own. I found my past to move forward in life. I have no regret moving back home. I am super excited about it. The heat sucks, though. That’s always going to make me regret it. San Diego is my second home. I made family and history there. I am stoked to be home. It’s nice to be around family again and be around my old friends.”
In moving back home, Quiroz received the support of her Madera family and her boyfriend, James Cheuvrount.
“He was supportive of whatever direction I wanted,” she said. “He was going to go to San Diego, but I decided to flip it on us. He’s been super supportive of every decision I’ve made. I fully appreciate that. He’s definitely on board with that. It’s good to move forward, not only for our relationship, but moving forward in our future.”
Quiroz is currently taking classes at Fresno City College for two semesters.
“I had to backtrack a couple of courses because of changing majors,” she said.
She plans to attend Fresno State next fall.
“So much has happened,” Quiroz said. “I left two years out of high school. I experienced a lot in San Diego. I never planned on coming home. Life throws you those curveballs. You either listen to your signs, watch out for them or ignore them. I chose to take those signs. I’m super excited about it.”