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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on January 29th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 47

Athlete of the Week: Stephanie Ramos

BY COLIN PATRICK HODGES

Stephanie Ramos has a reputation for being a relentless defender on the soccer field. The junior from Pioneer Valley High School is strong, fast, and constantly attacking the ball, skills that recently earned her accolades at the area’s Athletic Roundtable.

Varsity head coach Gabriel Velasco said Ramos possesses all the natural abilities needed to dominate a soccer game.

“Stephanie is the ideal center back; she’s very athletic, handles the ball well, and is extremely composed on the field,” Velasco said.

Indeed, Ramos’ natural abilities are evident every time she steps on the grass, but it’s not just her physical ability that’s caught her coach’s eye; he also admires her willingness to step up.

“Stephanie is a captain, she’s a leader, and she always comes ready to play,” Velasco said.

Anyone who follows athletics knows that hard work, commitment, and leadership skills aren’t qualities a coach can easily teach a player, yet Ramos demonstrates them all. Now 20 games deep into Pioneer Valley’s season, she’s playing at a seemingly faster pace than her opponents. She is a tough defender. The center back remains optimistic about her team and is bent on improving her skills.

“My goal for the rest of the season is to work as hard as possible, and to push my teammates so that we can improve,” she said.

Ramos, who’s played soccer for 12 years, thinks the hardest part about the game is accepting defeat. And the junior did say there are some issues the team still needs to work out.

“There are things we need to improve, especially our communication,” she explained. “Being a good captain means never giving up on my team.”

Although Pioneer Valley has struggled to win games this season, that fact hasn’t discouraged Ramos from giving her best effort every time she touches the soccer field, something that can be accredited to her love and passion for the game.

“To be successful in soccer, you have to play with heart, you have to be tough, and respect the game enough to try your hardest,” she said. After the season ends, Ramos will join a traveling club team that plays from March through September.