By Liliana Marquez
Men’s soccer team sophomores Adolfo Larios, Giovani Reyes and David Farias signed their letters of intent to attend Kansas Wesleyan University starting next fall on Monday during a meeting held at the president’s office.
After spending two years as part of the men’s soccer team, forwards Larios and Reyes along with defender, Farias, decided to transfer to KWU after visiting the campus last January.
East Los Angeles College Interim President Farley Herzek, men’s soccer Head Coach Eddie Flores and Assistant Coach Melvin Rubio were present at the signing, KWU Head Coach Mike Dibbini and Assistant Coach Gabe Romo along with their Recruiting Assistant Robert Blondeel-Timmerman were also present at the meeting.
Herzek said he was excited and proud of them and they were a perfect example for other students. According to Blondeel-Timmerman, they decided to recruit these players because of the style and philosophy that Flores has. “They play with heart and they also have the character traits we look for in a student athlete. This is going to allow them to achieve their life goals,” Blondeel-Timmerman said.
Flores said that he knew Larios was going to get a chance to play at the next level. As far as Reyes, he said he was surprised because KWU noticed him at the sophomore bowl where he played as a defender and not as a forward, which was the position he played for ELAC.
In Farias’ case, the KWU coaching staff also noticed him at the sophomore bowl, but Flores had doubts and didn’t imagine that they were going to choose him. Larios decided to attend KWU because he is looking for a new experience away from home and because of the soccer program they have.“They take their soccer program very seriously and that’s what I like to see. They are the team to beat in their conference,” Larios said.
Larios, who had an outstanding performance during his second season with the Huskies, got offers from other schools both in and out of state.
“I got other offers from schools around here and out of state. I was in contact with Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, University of La Verne and also Hawaii (University of Hawaii, Hilo),” Larios said.
He ended in the third place of the South Coast Conference 2012 men’s soccer individual statistics with a total of 10 goals, nine assists and 29 points. He was also named in the SCC All Conference First Team for the same season. Once he transfers to KWU, Larios plans to major in child development and wants to make his family along with his ELAC coaches and teammates be proud of him.
Farias, who got accepted to his dream school, the University of Southern California, chose KWU and to move out of the state, even though that meant going away from home. “I always said that if I ever got a scholarship, I would take it even if it meant denying USC. The KWU coaches answered all my questions and I liked KWU because they don’t just focus on soccer. It’s more about education,” Farias said.
Besides being accepted at USC, Farias was also accepted to all the California State Universities he applied and to the University of La Verne which offered him a partial scholarship. Farias said visiting KWU’s campus was a big factor when deciding what college he wanted to transfer to.
“I had a bad impression of KWU, but visiting the campus and meeting new people made the decision for me. The campus is so small and there aren’t a lot of things to do, but that’s not a bad thing considering that you’ll be more focused on school,” Farias said.
Farias wants to major in nursing and just like his teammate Larios, he wants to make his parents proud.
While playing for ELAC, Farias scored a total of five goals and had 10 assists.
During the 2011 season, he scored a hat trick (three goals) and had two assists during an away game against Pasadena City College.
That day, Farias set a record by being the first player to have scored a hat trick on the ELAC men’s soccer team in over three decades.
Reyes decided to accept KWU’s offer because it was giving him the opportunity to keep playing soccer.
“I decided to attend KWU because they were offering a scholarship to do what I love the most, which is playing soccer,” Reyes said.
Like his teammates, Reyes also got offers from other schools. One of them was La Verne.
Reyes always wanted to experience the next competition level after finishing his two years at ELAC and he always saw soccer as a possible path to expand his education level.
Reyes, who plans to major in biology at KWU, hopes to win a championship ring as part of the Coyotes men’s soccer team.
Over the last three years KWU has recruited five ELAC soccer players. Two of these players placed on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Plains Region Second Team for the 2012 season.
KWU is a private four-year college in Salina, Kansas and is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). KWU competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Coyotes ended the 2012 season with an overall record of 16-3-2.
They won both the KCAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships for the third consecutive year.
The Coyotes also advanced to the NAIA Men’s Soccer Championship opening round where they lost to Olivet Nazarene University.