High School students have enough concerns without having to worry if their soccer team will have enough players show up. At Pacific High School, Lesley Quiroz worried about that situation all four years she played varsity soccer. On top of that, Quiroz and friends had to adjust to a new coach every year. Quiroz said the instability was one reason Pacific won only eight games in her four-year varsity career.
“It was tough. Some of the girls were not dedicated and the other half loved the sport,” said Quiroz. “They were all nice girls but they were late for practice and often we only had 11 players show up for a game, meaning there were no substitutes. We never knew.” Despite the conditions, Quiroz was able to earn all-league honors throughout. She made 1st team All-Mountain Valley League as a junior and senior and was named Pacific’s team MVP as a senior. She was the team midfield player of the year as a junior.
In her senior year, Quiroz finished by being selected as Pacific’s 2016 Ken Hubbs Award nominee, based on her service on and off the soccer fields. During high school, she was a member of three clubs that volunteered throughout San Bernardino. Every two weeks her Key Club would work with children at the YMCA or donate time at the Helping Hands Food Bank. “High school taught me about these community service clubs. I like to help people.”
Quiroz also graduated with honors through the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Pacific. She explained that as a participant of AVID it required stricter core requirements to graduate. “Pacific is the only school in San Bernardino that is a AVID National Demonstration School. It’s designed to prepare students for college,” noted Quiroz.
Her 3.26 GPA earned her acceptance into UC Irvine, where she will live on campus and start classes on Sept, 20. She will take biological science courses in quest of becoming a nurse. Her favorite high school class was trigonometry but she took Calculus as well. Quiroz did not get a scholarship to play soccer at UCI but will attempt to make the team via an open tryout. If not she will play intramural soccer.
Quiroz said she will organize her schedule this year so that she can commute to Pacific as an assistant. Although never playing on a Pacific team that qualified for the playoffs, she told of valuable lessons learned. “As a freshman, I was the baby who learned from senior’s Andrea Moreno and Amy Rosales. By my sophomore year, I was beginning to be looked up to and this year I was the only senior. I was the captain and the role model,” recalled Quiroz. “Since we had a new coach every year, I knew more about our players. I was responsible for a lot.” With everyone else coming back this upcoming year, Quiroz expects more from her alma mater.
She has no plans to become a head coach, however by having four different head coach’s at Pacific, Quiroz has a lot to draw from. Perhaps, most important the need for open communication. “We never had the coach’s number. Two coaches did give us an email address, meaning the players often had to exchange information through a chat line. One girl’s mother had the coaches phone number and she would call him. For two years, we had no assistant coach. As team captain, I had to manage my time to help organize. A coach must stress hard work and dedication.”