Varsity Profile: Gabriel Tijerina

Gabriel Tijerina is in love with the game of soccer, and his dedication to it really shines through.

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Varsity Profile: Gabriel Tijerina

Tijerina looks to trap the ball during one of his many games playing forward.

Tijerina looks to trap the ball during one of his many games playing forward.

Armando Tijerina

Tijerina looks to trap the ball during one of his many games playing forward.

Armando Tijerina

Armando Tijerina

Tijerina looks to trap the ball during one of his many games playing forward.

The boys soccer season may have ended, but soccer never seems to end for one of the team’s forwards, junior Gabriel Tijerina. Whether he is playing soccer in the fall, up on the north deck in the winter, or playing the video game FIFA, he always seems to be doing some kind of activity involving soccer.  

Tijerina started playing soccer through the Lindenhurst Park District when he was six years old. He did not like it right away, but slowly started to enjoy the sport.

Growing up, he experimented with other sports including football and swimming; after playing football for a year, he made the switch back to soccer the next. There were aspects of soccer that attracted him to this particular sport over the others.

“I like how everyone has to play as a team. In a lot of sports there can be a couple guys that do a lot of the work,” Tijerina said. “I like how in soccer everyone has to be on top of their game or else it hurts the team.”

Before coming to Antioch, Tijerina was involved in a few soccer clubs, including Grayslake Galaxy and the Chicago Kickers. Tijerina said that the biggest transition for him moving from club to high school was that everyone in club was the same age. Once Tijerina came to Antioch he played with players who were bigger than him.

Tijerina made the Varsity soccer team as a freshman, this came with its perks, but also its challenges.

“I got a lot of recognition because being on Varsity as a freshman is hard to do,” Tijerina said. “But it was also kind of tough to compete with the juniors and seniors who were a lot bigger, stronger, and faster than I was.”  

Tijerina explained how this year he was part of a very talented team and is looking forward on how to improve even more for next season.

“I think this year we had a good team,” Tijerina said. “But we weren’t able to put it together in time so that we could successfully win regionals.”

Out of Tijerina’s past three seasons, he believes that personally this year was his best.

“I think that this year was my best year,” Tijerina said. “I was able to play for the full game in almost all of the games, and I was able to help other teammates become better at soccer.”

Tijerina plans to take on the challenge of being a student athlete in college, but in order for that to happen he has to have a good year next season.

“I have to do a lot of offseason work to be able to prepare for next year,” Tijerina said. “I know that I want to play in college, and in order to do that I have to put on a good senior season.”

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