A Kick Away From Stardom

Jessica Valadez, headshot.
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Jessica Valadez

There are many star athletes in the ACHS student body, but two particular soccer players stand out among the crowd. Both Jessica Valadez and Diego Ortega were recruited by professional coaches this summer to travel down to Mexico and try out for their teams. The trip that these two went one will be one that they will never forget.

Jessica Valadez, junior, started playing soccer when she was four years old for a soccer organization called AYSO. At the age of seven, she was recruited to play for the Camarillo Eagles soccer team where she was a starting forward. A Mexican national coach approached Jessica this summer and asked her to come try out for Mexico’s national soccer team. Ecstatic, both Jessica and her family traveled down to Mexico for this rare opportunity. When she got to the training camp, it was all soccer 24/7.

“When I was trying out, I just kept in my head that everything you do counts,” said Jessica. For two weeks, Jessica gave it her all on the soccer field, and she is now waiting for the call to find out if she made the Mexican national soccer team.

Diego Ortega
Diego Ortega, senior, watched his dad play soccer and do tricks that amazed him; at age six, Diego started playing himself. He played his first two years of soccer for the organization AYSO. After one of his games, an Oxnard Waves soccer coach approached Diego and asked him to play on the club team. After four years of playing for the Oxnard Waves, Diego was recruited again to play for the Camarillo Eagles (where he still currently plays center mid for). This summer, Diego was recruited yet again. This time it was from a Mexican professional soccer team called Santos. Diego willingly took up the offer and went down to Mexico.

“When I was down there I got to live the life of a professional soccer player” said Diego. While down in Mexico, Diego spent most of his time with the Santos team which was being coached by a former professional soccer player. He is now in contact with another professional Mexican soccer team based out of Guadalajara called Chivas. “Soccer is life to me, it’s my passion” said Diego. Putting soccer as his number one priority, everyone should expect to see big things come from Diego Ortega in the soccer world.

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