Love at First Kick

Miguel Lemus, Staff Writer

In an effort to find a fun sport to participate in, sophomore Nina Montero began searching at an early age until she found one she truly loved. Since the first time she played soccer, she has felt an ever-growing passion for the sport, prompting her to join a variety of club soccer leagues and the Lady Cavalier Soccer team. To many, it can become difficult to maintain a balance between playing a sport and juggling academics. However, Montero views her love for soccer not as a burden on her shoulders, but as an escape from the stresses that her difficult academic schedule creates. Montero hopes that, over the years, she can further grow with her teammates on and off the field.

Montero’s passion for soccer has instilled qualities of leadership and commitment within her and they have become evident when she is not on the field. She is currently part of the International Baccalaureate Program and is a member of the  National Honor Society and International Baccalaureate Honor Society.  Although she has a devoted passion for soccer, Montero believes that her teammates are the ones who make soccer so fun for her and are a major reason for her continued dedication to the sport. Whether they win or lose a game, her team always brings out the best in her.

On an average week, she practices with her club team twice a week and practices with the Gables soccer team from Monday through Friday. After high school, Montero hopes to attend the University of Florida in hopes of studying forensic psychology and marine studies.

Nina Montero
Sophomore Nina Montero prepares to strike the ball while in a soccer match.

Were you on the soccer team previously and, if you were, for how long?

I’ve been on the school team since my freshman year.

What inspired you to start playing?

When I was younger, I tried out for a lot of different sports, trying to find the one that most interested me. So when I started playing soccer in first grade, I expected it to be fun, but not something I would make a decade-long commitment to. Instead, I came to love the sport and have played for a variety of club and school teams going into high school.

What does your training consist of?

To train, I attend practice every day and have games between two and three times a week.  In addition, I practice with my club team twice a week.

What’s your favorite thing about being part of the team?

I would say that my favorite aspect of being a part of the team is being with people that share my same interests.  In addition to the friendships and improving my skill, playing with girls that I can hang out with is really important to me.

How do you balance your athletics with academics?

For me, soccer has always been a way for me to escape from my studies and just do what I love.  While I play soccer, it allows me to take a break and relax from my studies so I’ve never had to try to balance one or the other.

What are your goals for the season?

Other than just improving my skill, I would say that a goal I want to achieve this season is to become even closer to all my teammates.  I’ve always felt like the best teams are the teams that are closely bonded because they’ll be a team on and off the field.

What is one of the best moments that you have experienced with your team?

The best memories I have from playing with the team are the bus rides to and from games.  Whether we’ve just had a great game or a tough one, we’ll all play games on the bus and tell stories and that’s always great.

How would you describe yourself as a student when you’re not out in the field?

When I’m off the field, I’m usually doing my homework or studying.  Because of this, I would say that my academics are one of the most important aspects of my life and they always have been.