By Liliana Marquez
Brian Hoist sat in East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium stands and watched his former teammates prepare to face another challenge. He was set to play his last season for the men’s soccer team, but suddenly everything changed.
Hoist, 20, who was born in Pasadena and raised in Alhambra, made one of the biggest decisions of his life when he decided to leave school and the soccer team to follow his dream and become a sheriff’s deputy.
“I was two classes away from getting my AA. It was tough knowing that. Leaving the guys was hard too because I’ve become attached to them, and they are basically my family,” Hoist said.
Hoist wants to become a sheriff’s deputy because for him every day will be different and he will be able to interact with people. He also thought about his future family when making this decision.
“It’s a very stable job, the pay is good, there are benefits and I can support my family. My wife some day might be able to home-school our kids because it pays well enough,” Hoist said.
He is the son of East Los Angeles College alumna Rebecca Hoist and the late William Hoist, who was a math teacher. His passion for law enforcement began when he started to watch the TV show “Cops.”
“It all started watching ‘Cops’ the TV show. Every day from 3 to 4 p.m. I would sit down and watch it. I wouldn’t miss a day,” Hoist said. Then, his mother discovered the Alhambra Police Explorer Program and he became part of it for two years.
“During his teen years, Brian expressed his desire to protect, serve and help his community become a better place. Law enforcement became his passion,” Rebecca said.
After that, Hoist attended and graduated from the 18-week Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy Explorer Program in 2008. Once at ELAC, Hoist applied to work as a cadet, and worked the graveyard shifts for more than a year.
Hoist is the third born of four children and the middle son. His mother retired at the age of 35 to be a full-time mother and along with her husband, decided to home-school their children.
He was home-schooled until his senior year and attended Alhambra High School from 2009 to 2010 where he played soccer for a year. According to his older brother Kevin, the passing of their father in 2005 was the biggest experience that had impacted Hoist’s life the most.
“Brian was 13 years old at the time and was left with so much of his life to live still. Brian and him (his father) were able to share many nights on the soccer field,” Kevin said.
When Hoist talks about his father, he does it with pride and joy remembering the times they spent together.
“He really inspired me. He really loved us. He was such a good guy and that’s who I try to model my life around. Him passing away in 2005 was really hard to deal with. My older brother and older sister were gone, so I was the man of the house. I had to step up and fill in the shoes,” Brian Hoist said.
For this reason, he decided to stay close to home and attend ELAC to be with his mother and his younger brother, Jason.
“Both my older siblings went to universities. If I left it would have been just my mom and my little brother. I wanted to stay with them. It was cheaper. It was really local and close. I had a good time and I really enjoyed it,” Brian Hoist said.
During his time at ELAC, Hoist, unlike other athletes who have a hard time keeping their grades up while playing sports, managed to keep a 3.5 GPA. He was also part of the Puente Program.
“Brian received great support from all faculty and staff. The Puente Program really helped immerse, direct, motivate and create a loving and giving community for Brian,” Rebecca Hoist said.
For his brother Kevin, the reason of why Brian Hoist was able to manage multiple responsibilities while in school is due to the way their parents raised them.
“Not performing well in school was never an option in our house. It was instilled in us early on how to manage multiple responsibilities and place a high priority on academics,” Kevin Hoist said.
Brian Hoist who started playing soccer when he was five years old, was part of the men’s soccer team in 2011 playing as a defender and helped the Huskies make it all the way to the first round of playoffs.
Hoist’s time spent playing for ELAC is something that he will always remember. “My first year was just having to fight for my spot every single day. I really showed myself what I was able to accomplish with hard work,” Hoist said.
For him, having to earn his teammates’ respect was crucial. He believes that in order for a team to win games and championships, they need to trust each other.
“If they don’t trust you, you can’t do it by yourself because it is a team sport. Knowing that they have your back, that’s the most important thing,” Hoist said.
Former teammates Juan Escobar, Christian Ventura and David Farias see Hoist as a role model and leader. They described him as an intelligent, positive hard-working person and someone who is very dedicated in what he does.
“He is going to start his career right after community college. Not a lot of people can do that. Most people have to transfer to a university to get their career. I understand he loves soccer, but his career is more important,” Farias said.
Men’s soccer Head Coach Eddie Flores understood that leaving school and the team was difficult for Hoist.
“He had to deal with the academy and deal with this. It was hard for him to make a choice. He didn’t want to get hurt, and I think he was not playing at the fullest,” Flores said.
Hoist’s sister Allison is proud of him and his accomplishments and said he has been an inspiration to her.
“He is very supportive and receives joy from helping others achieve their goals. Brian leads by example, never asking anyone to do something he is not willing to do himself. His focus and determination have been an inspiration to me,” Allison Hoist said.
Brian Hoist advises students who might be giving up on their dreams not to give up, and to work hard. “I would advise students not to give up on their dreams, to keep working hard. It takes a lot of work and dedication, but in the end is all worth it,” Hoist said.
Hoist will continue to work to join the academy in November, keeping in mind what his father always used to say, “échele ganas” (Throw yourself into it) to encourage him when facing challenges and obstacles in life.