Vanessa Espinoza will be two-sport athlete at TLU
East Central’s Vanessa Espinoza signs her letter of intent to play soccer and run cross country for Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. Espinoza is joined by (from left) her brother, Danny Jr.; her mother, Jennifer; and her father, Danny Sr.
EAST CENTRAL -- While only a few high school athletes are fortunate enough to continue participating at the collegiate level, even fewer have the opportunity to compete in two sports. But that is exactly what East Central’s Vanessa Espinoza is about to do, having signed her letter of intent April 24 to play soccer and run cross country at Texas Lutheran University.
The two-sport athlete who began running cross country as a freshman, but has been playing soccer since she was 5, said she considered a number of other schools including Our Lady of the Lake University and Schreiner University in Kerrville, but decided on TLU after her visit to the school.
“It was such a ‘homey’ feeling,” she said. “The staff members all made me feel welcome, and everyone was so nice. It really made it an easy decision.”
Espinoza is excited about the new experiences she will have as a college student, but most importantly about the education she will receive. She is also excited for the opportunity to compete at the “next level.”
Time management is going to be the biggest challenge, according to Espinoza, and she said she will need to focus on keeping everything organized to the best of her abilities. With early workout sessions and a full course load, she knows there won’t be a lot of free time.
Espinoza said she is going to miss her team, her teachers, and the school that has been like a second family to her.
“This is a close community,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to leave and start over someplace new.”
She also said it will be difficult to be away from her family, and that they are all sad she is leaving.
“They wanted me to live at home,” Espinoza said, “but I felt I needed to get out on my own.”
She is a motivated individual, and Espinoza has set some lofty goals for her freshman year in Seguin. Among them are to earn her place on her respective teams, as well as to carry a 17-hour class schedule to accelerate her education timetable. With a double major in both business and chemistry, Espinoza’s aggressive plans should undoubtedly lead to the successful career she has planned in pharmacy.
Espinoza is certainly focused on her future, but she hasn’t forgotten her past. She gave thanks to Lady Hornet Head Soccer Coach Zoila Hurley, saying Hurley motivated Espinoza -- giving her “tough love.” She also thanked Cross Country Head Coach Paul Frost, saying, “He made me want more for myself.”
“At the end of the day, this all comes down to my parents,” Espinoza said. “Everything I have done academically, and in sports, is because they wanted more for me and pushed me to be better. I owe all of this to them.”