Diego Aguilar has never been restricted by boundaries or a reluctance to take advantage of his opportunities.
That helps to explain why Schuyler’s all-state defender — the leader of a defensive line that has yielded just two goals in the first six games— has been finding his way onto the offensive attack this spring.
“We let him go wherever he wants to go,” said Warriors coach Lyndon Beebe. “He’ll find himself in the offensive third of the field quite a bit — either by design or by default.”
It’s not always practical. Sometimes it’s downright reckless, but Aguilar’s skill-set and soccer instincts usually allow him to come out of an offensive run with a positive result.
“I think it helps our team when I go on the attack,” said Aguilar, who has two assists and has taken nine shots on goal in the first half-down games this spring. “I want to attack whenever I get the chance.”
That mentality epitomizes Aguilar’s life — his journey. A native of El Salvador, he moved to Schuyler with his family at an early age. And he’s made the most of his American dream by conquering a new language, a new culture and a new way of life.
“He does everything the right way,” Beebe said. “He’s a good student and a good kid with a good, solid family.”
Aguilar is considered one of our Super Seniors — as chosen by former Telegram sports editor Kollin Miller — for the aforementioned reasons. He’s made the most of his chances — in both soccer and life.
Staying — be it in his native country or on the defensive side of the soccer field — might be considered by some to be the safer play. However, it often comes without the chance for reward, benefit or betterment.
Aguilar is planning on being a student-athlete in the fall at nearby Central Community College — a reality that might have been considered a pipedream a decade ago.
“I want to work hard and try to earn a position there,” he said.
As for his offensive impact on the Warriors this season, it’s being noticed by teammates.
“It helps a lot when he comes on the attack,” said striker Aldair Castornea. “It gives the midfield a boost. It opens up space everywhere on the field.”
Schuyler has won its first six games of the season and looks to improve upon last spring’s journey to the state semifinals. However, the Warriors need to work on coming out of the game a little quicker each game, Aguilar said.
“The team is doing well and the season is going well,” he said. “We need to improve. We haven’t scored much in the first half. We need to start scoring more in the first half.”
Beebe isn’t worried about the first-half scoring drought. The Warriors have played a lot of teams that have put six defenders in the defensive third of the field. Schuyler has had a lot of good scoring chances, but hasn’t capitalized on them.
“We need to finish,” he said, adding that it’s far more important to be playing well in May. “We thought we would be scoring more goals, but it’s such a veteran group. They all understand that it’s better to be good at the end of the season instead of right in the middle or at the beginning.”