Recent Del Rio High graduate Alyssa Arredondo didn’t wait for colleges to come to her.
The all-district Queens soccer player said she reached out to 10 different schools looking for a chance to play soccer at the collegiate level. Most of them were universities, including Howard Payne.
“A lot of the programs I reached out to were already full and offered to send my information to junior colleges,” Arredondo said. “And that’s how Cisco got my stuff. The coach at Cisco was an assistant at Howard Payne.”
Then a week ago, Arredondo made the trip to Cisco to visit the school. She liked what she saw and decided that was the place for her, so Arredondo officially signed to play for the Wranglers.
“Cisco is smaller than Del Rio. My plan is to be there a year or two and then transfer to a bigger university. In my heart, I’d like to attend and play for UTSA,” Arredondo said.
While in college, Arredondo said she planned on studying kinesiology and exercise science with an eye on becoming a physical therapist once she completes her education.
“It’s a job that involves sports and I want something where I can help people. I took some health science courses in high school and enjoyed them,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo, a defender/midfielder, earned her third career all-district selection this season, but her first first team selection. She was a second team all-district her sophomore and junior years. Arredondo, who was also a captain, helped direct the Queens attack and was considered one of the team’s standouts no matter where she played during her high school career.
“We, the coaches, are very proud of her and have all the confidence she will do great things. As her coach and teacher, I saw a lot of potential and determination. During the playoff game, she showed us a higher level. She played defense, left back, sweeper, and left wing on offense. She gave it all and left the field proud. She is an all-around soccer player. We are very happy for her and her family, and we wish her the best of luck as she starts her new career at the next level,” Queens head soccer coach Wilber Rivas said.
Arredondo said she initially didn’t think about playing soccer in college, but it was her father, David, who urged her to give it a shot.
“My parents have always been my biggest supporters and my role models,” Arredondo said. “I didn’t want to play after high school, but my dad pushed me to try. I’ve been playing since I was four years old and I think that’s why my dad really pushed me to try. He told me, “You’re really good and you should go for it.’”
Now Arredondo is using her summer to get ready for her next season of soccer. She said her new coach has her running sprints and preparing her mentally for what to expect at the next level.
“The workouts are tough, but he knows we can do it. He played soccer, so he knows what we’re going through. He gets it,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo said she also learned that many colleges aren’t just looking at what a soccer player does in high school. She said many of them are interested in how they performed in club soccer. That put Arredondo at a disadvantage.
“We just don’t have that here. I played with San Felipe, but they don’t have just girls teams. I’ve already told the younger Queens to get into club soccer right now or as soon as they could because there’s a lot of girls that can compete after high school,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo also have credit to her coaches for helping develop her game and leading her to this point in her life.
“Coach (Ernesto) Martinez was a strong role model for me. When he retired I wanted to cry. He made a big impact on my high school career,” Arredondo said. “Coach Rivas moved me to offense and gave me the chance to put some shots on goal. He knew I had lots of energy and knew he needed me up top to help.”
With her high school career complete, Arredondo is already looking ahead. She admits she is anxious to begin the next phase in her life, but there will still be things in Del Rio she will miss.
“I’m going to miss my little brother. He’s seven-years-old and he and my dog are my whole world,” she said.