By Julio Verduzco, Talon Staff Reporter
As a Student athlete in high school, he never expected to be a coach of a championship winning team, but he knew he would want to be one. HRVHS Boys Soccer coach Jaime Rivera, has had quite a journey within the community’s soccer programs here and has always been a community based guy. Full of inspiration and a great influence for his student athletes of all high school grades. This year being a special one for the soccer program in HRVHS due to winning the state championship. I got the chance to meet with the some of the students that were part of this and talk about their experiences and the influence Rivera gave them.
Oregonian player of the year, all-state player, and junior Gio Magaña told about his past and present experiences with Coach Rivera. He said, “since an early age, coach Rivera has been couching me and it’s been a great experience, he allows me to play my game, and in top of that guides me off the court on staying humble.” Magaña, who has had experience with many different coaches with in all his years of playing also said, “He is the best coach I’ve ever had.”
Sophomore Noe Magaña, Gio’s younger brother is just falling in the same footsteps as his brother. Both with amazing skills on the field, but what sets them apart is their experiences with coach Rivera. Noe shared and said, “I have learned a lot, It’s comfortable playing with him as coach, and he doesn’t yell. He also is a huge motivator on the field and academically. He helps me a lot.” This comes to show how Coach Rivera has a student first attitude and athlete second running with in the boys program.
Nothing but help and motivation comes from Coach Rivera for these young men. Senior Alex Guiterrez described his experience saying, “I basically grew up alongside coach Rivera. I met him in fifth grade, was our coach in dynamos in middle school, which was basically the same team we have now. So he has grown around us and knows what we are capable of.” He described his playing style as being structured in a way by coach Rivera. He said, “He really influenced me into always playing and fighting for every ball. No matter what the consequences are, the harder you work the better you’ll get and then you’ll be recognized as a player and a person.”
When I had the chance to speak with him, he shared some of his challenges in his journey. Saying, “Overall, trying to be a good role model for the boys was a challenge, I was once their age and know the type of experiences they may face.” Describing his younger days, “I moved to Arizona to start Soccer coaching at twenty-years old but still wanted to be involved with the community, and that’s what led me to coaching.” Rivera is not only a boys soccer coach, he is a mentor, he guides these young men to be successful in whatever they do, on and off the field, and for now and in the future. A community based guy who has shown great examples of perseverance, diligence, and respect throughout the community. A truly inspiring individual for many.