With the support of his friends and family, Padilla has been able to fall in love with a sport and create lifelong memories and friendships.
“Having my family there has helped me stay motivated and they push me to keep going,” Padilla said
Although his father has passed away due to cancer, Padilla keeps him in his heart when he is out on the field.
“My dad kept me going, he really wanted me to play so I went ahead and tried it. I still play for him today,” Padilla said.
With soccer, he has been able to create friendships with new people, and strengthen existing friendships as well.
“It’s cool because I’ve been friends with them for so long and now I’m playing on the same field as them. It’s something I never thought would happen,” Padilla said.
Padilla involves himself with soccer all year long with the Winnetonka High School team in the fall and club ball in the summer and winter.
“[With club ball] I love to travel and play. I love getting to see the different soccer stadiums and get a feel for the different environments,” Padilla said.
Although Padilla started off as a goalie, he has put in the hours to become a good field player as well.
“I started out as goalie and I came into high school not knowing how to play at all. I was tired of everyone thinking I was the weakling because I didn’t know how to play, so I worked hard everyday trying to get better and now I just want everyone to get that same motivation,” Padilla said.
“I try to listen to what he tells me, I mean he is the captain and he has been playing longer than I have,” Senior Adam Clow said.
Padilla has an outstanding passion for the game of soccer, but with understanding thoughts, he wishes some players would care about the game a little more.
“Everyone’s different, and everyone has different passions, but I want people to work as hard as they can and respect the game,” Padilla said.
The players appreciate Padilla and how he is motivated to help the team succeed.
“He lets people know when they mess up,” Clow said.
Padilla hopes to continue with soccer throughout college and major in physical therapy.
“One thing I hate about soccer is the injuries. If I could help other people heal as fast as possible that would make me happy,” Padilla said.
After college, Padilla dreams of coaching a club team to keep soccer in his life forever. He plans on attending Park University and playing for their soccer team in the fall of 2016.