Cobras pose quadruple threat
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 17:09
Some believe that all good things come in threes. There are four freshmen soccer players who beg to differ.
Denouncing that cliché are the four newest members of the men’s soccer team: Jesus Morales, Elias Salgado, Alonso Torres, and Danvile ‘Danny’ Vargas. Hailing from Morton High School, this quartet only plans to sing the sweet sounds of victory.
“The biggest obstacle was keeping them from choosing us over other schools since they are that good,” Head Coach Mark Sikora said about recruiting the four student athletes.
Sikora’s staff did a masterful job in using every outlet available to keep the group intact and bring them to Parkland.
“I like recruiting teammates, helps with the transition to college,” Sikora said. “Most importantly, these guys are good in their own way and they are winners. You can't have enough of those on your roster.”
Unofficially adopting the moniker of the “Morton Four,” this group is out to make history.
“They all offer different strengths and weaknesses and their futures will be as varied as the positions they play. If they, however, train with the utmost professionalism they should be able to transfer well to a four year university and make a name for themselves at that level,” he said.
Soccer, however, consists of more than just four players. To reach their maximum potential, it must be done within the constraints of the team and will be measured by the team’s progress.
“Much of their ceiling will be based on how we do as a team,” Sikora said.
Despite a hectic week, Prospectus News was able to sit down with two of the “Morton Four.”
Prospectus News: How close is the relationship between you four?
Danvile Vargas: We’ve pretty much been playing together since we were like 8, 9 or 10, I’d like to say. But at one point we played for the same team for a couple years. I’d say the bond is pretty close.
Elias Salgado: We have a close bond between all of us because we’ve known each other for a long time. We’ve played on a lot of teams together. We pretty much know each other really well.
PN: How was the decision made to come to Parkland?
DV: Actually it was through a player who played here last year. His name is Jason Saucedo. He was a goalkeeper here and he happened to go to our high school. So, he spoke to the coach, said you should check these guys out, and we took it from there.
ES: Yeah, I heard it from Danny and we talked about it. Then we all decided to come here together.
PN: Did any other schools recruit all 4 of you?
DV: Yeah we all had different options. At the end of the day, we felt like we wanted to do something. We were coming off a state championship run in high school so we wanted to pursue going to the next level and try to win something else and it would be even sweeter if we could do it together again.
ES: Yes, we all had different options and different colleges but there was one college, Morton College that wanted all four of us together. It was between that college and Parkland. We all decided to come to Parkland so we could stick together.
PN: What set Parkland apart from other schools that recruited you?
DV: Honestly, I didn’t think I was ready for a four year university and on top that it’s literally five minutes from the University of Illinois. It’s far away from home, but not too far away. The environment around here in Champaign is just wonderful. It’s been nothing but good to us.
ES: It was set apart from my other options because the city of Champaign made me want to come here and get a new experience. And I heard they had really good athletics.
PN: How big of an adjustment is it to the college game?
DV: It’s big. You’re used to playing guys in high school but they’re usually your size. These guys are physical. They’re bigger, they’re stronger, and they’re faster and if you can’t come in and pretty much keep up from the start you’re not going to see much playing time. So it was a huge adjustment. You kind of have to grind it out and toughen up.
ES: It’s a big adjustment because you’re playing against guys that are older than you. Some are younger, but most of these guys are really tall and physical. So you have to adjust to all of that. And the speed of the game is also quicker.
PN: What would you say is the biggest challenge so far?
DV: The biggest challenge would be starting as a freshman. Just because, not only are you taking a sophomore’s spot but there’s so much more pressure. There’s no room for error. Because you know there’s a guy on the bench that can play just as good as you, if not better, that’s ready to take your spot.