TJ plays in the Rapids Central region with the Rapids 03 Select boys as a midfielder and captain of the team. CRYSC College Placement Program Director Anthony Presnell describes TJ as “a true representative what it means to be a CRYSC student-athlete. Along with his commitment to his personal development TJ has been playing with the Rapids Youth Soccer Program for nearly 14 years!” He has recently been accepted into Washington University- St Louis and will play with university’s men’s soccer program in fall 2021.
This April, TJ will be presented with a plaque acknowledging his accomplishment, so watch the CRYSC social pages for more updates.
We spoke with TJ to get learn a bit more about him and see what drives his game. Check out the interview below!
What influence has soccer had in your life?
Soccer has taught me life lessons that I can apply in all facets of life. Specifically, I have learned the significance of discipline and resilience from soccer. When I was younger, I grew late relative to my peers, which made competing especially difficult. I needed to overcome these obstacles by developing resilience and discipline. Not only have these traits benefited my soccer performance, but also other avenues in my life.
Why do you believe that you were nominated for this award?
I have been at the Club ever since the Rapids merged with Colorado Fusion. Throughout my time with the Rapids, I have watched as the the Club’s youth program has grown and become more established. The Rapids has directing me towards the person and player I have always wanted to be. I am proud that I identify as a Colorado Rapids player.
What do you enjoy most about playing for Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club?
I have always enjoyed the team camaraderie. Even though players and coaches change depending on the year, it never ceases to break team moral. All of my coaches have created a disciplined yet fun environment, which can be credited to teams camaraderie. Strong camaraderie is an integral factor for a teams game success, which makes every season even better.
What soccer accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am the most proud of making the US futsal national team. It was very difficult to compete in soccer because of my size, so I became drawn to futsal. I worked very hard and managed to make the national team my freshman year of high school. Futsal restored my confidence, making me a better soccer player for the Rapids.
What academic achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud that I made honor roll every semester of high school. My school is rigorous, and I sometimes felt overwhelmed with school work. However, it was all worth it because I acquired my life lessons that will guide me toward success in the future.
How do you think your teammates would describe you?
My teammates would describe me as a disciplined and hard working player. I was never the team leader, but I tried to guide other teammates with my work ethic. I always showed up physically and mentally, and I wanted to get better at every practice.
What is something that shows your exemplary character, commitment to sportsmanship, community involvement, etc..?
During my sophomore and junior year of high school, I volunteered at Coerver Colorado. At Coerver I coached and mentored youth players ranging from 4 to 10 years old. Before I began my time with the program, I had never seen myself as a coach. However, as I began connecting with the kids I started to enjoy my time as a coach. I gained confidence and compassion by coaching, and I hope to return to Coerver in the near future.
What’s your favorite soccer player and team?
What studies do you hope to pursue in the near future?
I enjoy my economic and biology class at my high school. In the future I hope to pursue a major and a career that encompasses these academic topics. I am also continuing my soccer development at WashU in St. Louis this fall. I hope to pursue soccer for as long as possible because it keeps me mentally and physically well.
Who inspires you and why? This can be someone famous or someone you know personally!
My father has been a huge inspiration of mine. He has provided numerous opportunities for me, and has directed me toward my goals. My dad emphasizes his work and children, which I hope to one day prioritize as well.
What else do you enjoy outside of playing for CRYSC?
My primary hobbies outside of soccer are reading and hanging out with friends. Even though school and soccer take up most of my time, on the weekends I try to find some time to pursue my hobbies.
As our partnership strengthens with UCHealth, we want to work together to highlight the amazing players within the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club with a monthly ‘Player of the Month’. Check out the criteria and nominate any players that deserve to be highlighted by UCHealth and CRYSC on the Player of the Month page.