Fifth in a collection of tales profiling high highschool soccer gamers by place. As we speak, Nick Fernandez, San Pedro tight finish.
Nick Fernandez, born and raised in San Pedro, didn’t play soccer till he confirmed up for his freshman 12 months of highschool in 2019 and was placed on the junior varsity crew.
At first, the coaches tried him out at operating again, however he was 6 ft 2 and taller than some linemen. It was determined tight finish could be his place.
When he made a one-handed catch and ran 50-plus yards for his first landing early that season, the fun, pleasure and real love for what he was doing could be ingrained in his reminiscence. Oh, he’d play basketball and baseball, too, however soccer was completely different.
“I fell in love with the sport,” he stated. “When I was little, I wanted to be a professional soccer player, but as you can see I’m not built like a soccer player anymore.”
At 6-4 and 250 kilos, the 17-year-old senior at San Pedro Excessive has the kind of measurement and athleticism that can remind Metropolis Part observers of what Arlis Boardingham completed final season for Metropolis champion Lake Balboa Birmingham. Boardingham did every thing for the Patriots, and that’s how Fernandez will probably be used for the Pirates.
He’s a decent finish who will play a bit wildcat quarterback. He’s additionally a standout defensive lineman who punts and kicks area targets. Contemplating he performed simply 4 video games as a sophomore due to COVID-19 protocols, Fernandez is a type of untapped skills starting to find his limits. He actually is keen to go wherever his thoughts and physique take him.
“The more positions, the better,” he stated. “I love playing football. I don’t want to leave the field.”
His dad and mom are each educators — his mom is a counselor at Wilmington Banning and his father is a fifth-grade trainer. Maybe that helps clarify how Fernandez is beloved by the adults he comes throughout.
Take his counselor, Rina Younger. She was greeting guests coming into campus and discovered Fernandez was the main focus of this story. She wouldn’t let the interviewer budge till she made certain her impressions of Fernandez had been heard loud and clear.
“He will have wonderful adult conversations,” she stated. “He’s so friendly and so nice. He cares about other people. He’s one of the best kids I’ve met.”
You then hear Fernandez discuss concerning the that means of “team” and also you perceive what his counselor is speaking about.
“It’s always a team game,” he stated. “I love what I do.”
Throughout the offseason, Fernandez grew to become one of the recruited athletes in Metropolis Part soccer, accumulating greater than 15 scholarship affords. It occurred as a result of every time recruiters got here to campus, they discovered about his expertise, character and grades.
There’s no telling whether or not tight finish or line of defense would be the finest place for Fernandez, however he has turn into a weapon on offense along with his catching and blocking.
“I didn’t realize how much hands you need for blocking,” he stated. “I’ve always tucked and hit ‘em. Now I’m using my head, my chest, my arms, using my legs and pushing them and turning them, using my size against them.”
Receptions and touchdowns are what he lives for.
“When I get the ball, it’s like everything blacks out,” he stated. “It’s me and a touchdown or me and the person in front of me. It’s like a dream. Me and whomever is in front of me is going to get blown up or they’re going to blow me up or I’m going to do something crazy.”
For Fernandez to play for his neighborhood faculty is one thing he cherishes. His mom graduated from San Pedro. His father graduated from San Pedro. His youthful brother will probably be going to San Pedro.
“There’s nice people, there’s fun people,” he stated. “Everybody knows something. It’s a small big town. Whenever you go to the store, you’re going to run into somebody you know.”
On Friday nights this fall, there’s little question Fernandez would be the focus of consideration in a group that loves its sports activities groups.
Tight ends to look at
Identify, College, Ht., Wt., Yr., Remark
Robert Dixon, Simi Valley, 6-5, 220, Sr. Large physique and large goal
Nick Fernandez, San Pedro, 6-4, 250, Sr. Three-sport athlete is rising prospect
Jose Frutos, JSerra, 6-0, 190, Sr. All-Trinity League honoree makes robust catches
Jamari Johnson, Inglewood, 6-5, 250, Sr. Louisville commit is star athlete
Niko Lopez, Santa Margarita, 6-3, 210, Sr. Colorado State commit makes catch after robust catch
Ryan McBride, West Torrance, 6-4, 240, Jr. Large goal with good arms
Trent Merriman, Corona del Mar, 6-2, 230, Sr. Nice grades with versatility and agility
Spencer Shannon, Mater Dei, 6-7, 240, Sr. Texas commit recognized for blocking expertise
Ryner Swanson, Laguna Seaside, 6-4, 230, Jr. Will probably be No. 1 tight finish from Class of 2024
Colton Yoos, Newbury Park, 6-4, 215, Sr. Has physique, arms to make impression
Tomorrow: Seth Fao, Wilmington Banning defensive lineman .