By Jenelyn Russo
Photo credit: Robert Zaleski
His father's love for the sport of soccer is what Jose Sosa credits for helping him discover his own love for the game.
"I think my dad had a big influence on me," says Sosa. "He played when he was a kid...He has a big love for the sport. He basically transferred it to me."
The Servite High School senior and four-year varsity player has slotted in at both left wing and attacking midfielder for the Friars, but favors the midfielder position as it allows him to be right in the center of the action. Sosa's passion for the game is a reflection of how happy he is to be on the field.
"Honestly, soccer just brings me happiness," says the 18-year old. "It clears my mind of other things. I get to be me. I get to be free when I play. It's fun."
Spending a portion of the season sidelined by an injury, Sosa exhibited leadership from the bench, and then was an immediate contributor upon his return, helping lead the Friars to the school's fifth consecutive Trinity League title.
"Jose has always had the desire to improve as a player and a leader," says Servite head soccer coach, Jon Spencer. "He has done his best to keep a positive attitude within the team and has worked hard to get back on the field. He brings the team together and helps his teammates stay focused on the goals the team has. He is a winner both on and off the field. While he has improved as a soccer player, I know he has grown into a faith-filled leader."
Sosa shares his love for the game with youth players by working with Higher Ground Youth & Family Services. The Anaheim resident teaches the fundamentals of soccer to young kids with the hope that, "Maybe one day, they'll find a love for the sport like I did."
The biggest life lessons he's learned from soccer so far are patience and trusting in God's bigger plan.
"God has taken me to where I am now," says Sosa. "Everything I do revolves around him. The biggest part of God's plan here is...if we follow what he wants, good things will come of it."
Sosa's next steps include heading to University of the Pacific, where he will play Division I soccer and study business management. His father's road from Guatemala to the U.S. and the life he has built here for Sosa and his family, remain his inspiration.
"I think it's important for me to be successful in life because he's dedicated so much of his time to me," says Sosa of his father. "I'm grateful for what I have, knowing he started from nothing and [created] his own life. I can thank my dad a lot for that. I'm proud of him."