This week’s athlete of the week is soccer player Carlos Mannarino. Mannarino is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program and has been a key player for the Cavalier defense throughout the whole season.
When did you start playing soccer?
So I started playing soccer back when I was seven years old. Initially I didn’t really want to get into soccer, my dad kind of forced me into it. After a while, I really started getting used to it and it became a hobby of mine. I started watching T.V. with my dad and I really integrated myself with my team in Key Biscayne and it started becoming my favorite sport.
What position do you play?
In school I play center back, and when I play in club I play as a right back.
What kind of training did you have to go through to get to this point?
Well, when I started really getting intense with soccer I played all summer. I was invited to places like Italy, Argentina, and Ohio to play with teams of my academy in Madrid. [I had] four or five practices a week and I just really started getting into it.
What was your favorite part about being on the Coral Gables team?
Club and school are really different. With school, well this year was my first year, I felt really honored to play for the team and I wanted to see how school sports were like. It was honestly a great experience.
What is your favorite soccer memory?
My favorite soccer memory is going to Louisiana. I went to Louisiana for regionals with my club team and we made it to the finals. Unfortunately we lost, but having to play against the nation’s top teams, it was a great experience.
How do you balance school and athletics?
Balancing school and athletics is kind of tough. However, it has helped me manage time correctly. Specifically with IB, I felt that playing school soccer and undergoing the IB curriculum, I have kind of become a more well-rounded individual and I have been able to balance my passion for soccer and my desire to thrive intellectually.
Do you want to play after high school, even if it is just club?
When I go to college I don’t plan on playing DI or DIII. I plan on playing intramural, but not as competitively as I have throughout the years. I would rather focus on my studies and be able to get my MBA in business.
Do you have any hobbies or other activities you do?
Other than soccer, hobbies…I like playing ping-pong and honestly just hanging out with my friends.
Jersey number four will certainly leave a great name for the player that inherits it next year. Make sure to congratulate Mannarino on his success.