Freshman soccer player Nathan Yepez, is making great strides on the field and off, keeping with Vanguard’s Gold Pride tradition.
Carlos Nathan Yepez who goes by Nathan, was born on Sept. 30, 1997 in Inglewood, Calif. From the moment he was born, Yepez had a bit of an edge that would lead him down a path of athletics. Yepez has played since he was 3 years old, Yepez’s father and his uncles had all played soccer professionally.
“My uncle played in a World Cup, he’s probably gone the furthest out of all the family, he played for the Mexican National Team and was the captain. He went to a couple world cups, played in Spain, so yea, the background is just, in my family it runs in my blood.” Yepez explains.
Witnessing and hearing the stories of those who came before him inspired Nathan to strive for new heights in his sport.
Yepez describes his goals, “Yea my goal of course is to reach the professional level, what I’m shooting for now is to be a professional soccer player.”
While his ambitions on the soccer field are high, that is not the only place where Yepez has high goals. Nathan wants to graduate with a degree in Kinesiology and become an athletic trainer or a team doctor for a sports team, barring that soccer does not work out for him. Yepez credits his father for pushing him so far in his studies.
“You always want to have a backup plan in terms of school, you don’t want to get injured one day and have that possibly end your career. Soccer may end tomorrow but school doesn’t, you’ve got to get a degree. That’s what my dad always tells me, ‘Soccer is very important and highly valued in our family, but your education is even greater.’ So as long as I get my degree and work hard in both aspects, I should be ok.” Yepez states.
Nathan was also very open about how he happened upon Vanguard as the setting for his formation as a college student. According to Nathan everything was very last-minute with his application, he had scheduled a try-out and a scrimmage with the team, and then head soccer coach Randy Dodge invited Nathan out for a visit. Nathan hadn’t even applied yet but when he arrived, sat him down with the application and helped Nathan fill it out. After he was done, Nathan took a tour of campus, upon his return to the admissions office, Nathan had been admitted. “I really think it was God’s plan and in God’s eyes for me to come here.” Yepez says about his acceptance.
Yepez also spoke about his vision for his personal growth while he is a student. “I want to become a better person, build a better character, and improve everyday on like how I act and how people see me. I want to be a person that is a good role model, in terms of both academics and athletics. I know I’m not the best student or the best athlete, but I still want to be that person that people look up to.”
Next time you attend a game, make sure you send a cheer toward attacking midfielder number 19, Yepez.