Sebastian Quiroz is going to be taking a lot of vacations in upcoming months.
Even after he and his family return from vacation, the former Tokay High boys soccer player will still be packing his bags for a new destination.
On Friday, inside The Jungle and in front of approximately 50 people, Quiroz inked his NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend and play men’s soccer at Holy Names University, an NCAA Division II college in Oakland. Quiroz is thinking about majoring in business administration but “most likely” is going to change his major in the future.
“It was crazy,” said Quiroz on large number of people who showed up for his signing. “Amazing to see everybody there supporting me. Who have been going through the journey with me.”
Quiroz will be one of three former Lodi area high school student-athletes who are attending the campus and playing on the Hawks’ athletic teams when the 2019-20 school year begins in August.
Monica Valenzuela, a 2017 Lodi High graduate who will be a junior at Holy Names University this fall, is on the college women’s basketball team next winter. Bailey Correia, who will be graduating from Elliot Christian High next Friday, inked her National Letter of Intent with Holy Names University and will be playing on the softball team next spring.
Four college campuses were on Quiroz’s list. The beauty of Holy Names University, according to him when he visited the campus about four months ago, was one of the reasons he felt comfortable.
“Mostly the housing where the campus is,” said Quiroz, who has a 3.4 grade point average at Tokay. “The way the college treated me. Just the environment there and I like it. And, it’s close to home.”
Quiroz also hung out with returning players on the Holy Names University men’s soccer team.
“That was amazing,” said Quiroz. “They made me feel like I was home; a good place. They treated me like family.”
Last fall, the Holy Names University men’s soccer team, which plays in the Pacific West Conference, posted a 4-13-1 overall record that included a 3-8 mark in conference. There were 24 men on the roster, but only three were seniors.
Quiroz is staying in shape for the rough D-II in college men’s soccer.
“Just going to the gym, working hard,” said Quiroz of his off-season workouts. “Going out to run. There’s a bunch of big guys out there, so I got to be ready for that.”
Communications with Holy Names University and some of the other four-year colleges Quiroz was a “once-in-a-liftime” experience that he’s grateful during the college process.
“It was hard at first,” said Quiroz, “but we got through it.”
Last winter, Quiroz and the Tokay boys soccer team won its second consecutive Tri-City Athletic League title. They also earned a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff berth, beating Davis High of Davis 4-2 on penalty kicks before Jesuit of Carmichael eliminated the Tigers in the second round with a 3-1 win. Tokay went 16-2-2 last winter, and a combined 31-4-4 the last two seasons.
“I think my senior year was the most memorable one,” said Quiroz, who had three goals last season. “To be able to play with the boys, just make the most of it.
This past season, Tokay played the bulk of its home games at the revamped Hubbard Field. The on-campus stadium now has all-turf field, new home bleachers on the west side that two tunnels and visitor’s side that also has two tunnels, press box, an all-weather track and stadium lights.
“It was amazing to step on the field; amazing facility,” Quiroz said.
As graduation from Tokay High quickly approaches, Quiroz feels that maybe his final days as a Tiger is happening too fast.
“It’s been kind of like a dream; it doesn’t seem like reality to me,” Quiroz said. “Kind of surreal.”
But his upcoming vacation will be more than real after graduation. Quiroz will be taking one of three vacations; the first one is the Class of 2019’s trek to Hawaii. The next two spots are Mexico and The Bahamas.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.