This Maryland high school player profiles series is presented by the U.S. Army.
Hector Alvarez, a senior soccer player for Rockville High School, was nominated for the Maryland high school player profiles series by Rockville boys’ soccer coach Julio Zarate.
“Hector is a remarkable young man and excellent captain,” Zarate said. “Leadership and compassion is his strength. During a difficult year, he managed to keep the team united and strong.”
Alvarez was a key piece on defense for Rockville, a stout centerback who was the spine of this team, helping guide the Rams to the Class 3A West Region II title during the 2019 season.
He took some time with us to answer a few questions about being nominated.
PressBox: What does it mean to you to have your coach recognize you for this?
Hector Alvarez: It was amazing. I didn’t really expect it, but when he chose me, I was shocked. It’s a huge honor to be chosen by my coach and it’s super amazing to be a part of it.
PB: How did you prepare for this season and how optimistic were you about there even being a season?
HA: I made sure I had time to keep myself and others on the team in shape. I had a good four months where I would be outside all the time, going on walks and jogs. Later on, I started inviting two or three of my teammates to work out socially distanced. We always believed there would be a season, so we would prepare ourselves through long workouts to get ready to play.
PB: How did you get your start with soccer and what’s kept you going in the sport?
HA: I started playing in middle school, around 11 or 12. I originally liked basketball more, but then I went to one of my cousin’s soccer games, and through watching, it looked like a lot of fun. Also, my parents would watch Barcelona games on our TV, so I would watch it with them. I started out at an older age, so I wanted to improve myself quickly, but it just grew from there.
PB: What’s been your favorite moment in your soccer career so far?
HA: When I was on my club team, Takoma Park Friends United, around ninth grade, we were in the finals of the Maryland State Cup. It was about 15 minutes into the second half of a 0-0 game against our rival team. I had the ball at my feet and I saw my striker breaking toward the net. I whipped it in and our striker volleyed it for the goal. I got the assist on the goal that opened up the scoring, and we ended up winning 2-0.
PB: What did it mean to you to get named co-captain as a junior and how have you grown into the role the past two seasons?
HA: It meant a lot, but I personally believe it’s not just one leader. I believe it’s multiple people. I always recognize my teammates and what they tell me. All of the intel is coming from everyone else.
PB: Do you have any post-graduation plans once high school ends?
HA: I have already committed to UMBC and I’m planning on walking on to the men’s soccer team there to help further my future goal of hopefully making it into MLS.
To nominate an athlete or team for a future U.S. Army Player/Team Profile, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Impact.
Photo Credit: Belkis Alvarez