Senior Harmony Chino has always had a knack for predicting the outcomes of her soccer games. “When we would play soccer she was always pessimistic about our winning…we would always be like ‘don’t say we’re gonna lose, don’t say we’re gonna lose!’ She’d predict what our score would be and that’s the score we would get,” explained Maria Ortiz, one of Chino’s best friends.
Chino has played soccer here since sophomore year. Though now it’s one of her favorite hobbies, that wasn’t alway the case. “I didn’t like soccer, through my freshman year, and my middle school years, but my dad encouraged me to play it and try something new,” she said. Many athletes who end up playing on high school varsity, have been playing their sport since they were little, or at least since middle school. Chino started late, and yet she’s still shining through.
Chino came from a soccer loving family. Her brother Juan, a sophomore, started playing when he was eight years old. After stopping for a little while, he started playing again at 12, and now he’s on the South team. Juan and Harmony often practice together, especially before games. “We argue a lot,” he explained, laughing “but in a good way.” Their dad is also a huge fan of soccer, and was the person who convinced Harmony to try it out.
Even though soccer season is over for the year, she still practices every Wednesday, playing Futsal with friends at Nokomis. Futsal is a modified version of soccer that has fewer players. “She’s a great soccer player, she’s good at her footwork,” beamed Ortiz. It’s clear that Chino is grateful for soccer, and it being a part of her life. “I’m very very glad to have the opportunity to play, and I’m healthy which is very good.”
Outside of soccer, Chino is an excelling student. Self motivated and confident, and is a proud student in the program AVID, which she explained happily as “a program that helps you prepare for college. It’s very helpful ‘cause it gives scholarships to apply to, it gives you information about colleges and other students from other colleges come and speak about it.”
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a program that South offers to all four grades, that helps students gain academic skills and grab a hold of their academic promise. “It teaches you how to be responsible, [and about] time management. it also teaches you how to be independent once you are an adult. it’s very great. I love Ms. Hodge,” Chino added, laughing.
“I would like to play soccer in college, but I’m thinking about it in my third year, cause’, first and second year i’m just gonna dedicate to school” Chino explained. In terms of where she wants to go, she’d still not sure.
Even so, people around her knows she’ll go far. When asked about Chino, Ortiz didn’t hesitate to explain how great her friend is. “She’s very smart, she takes pride in what she does, and even if it requires like taking off time from soccer; She takes AP stat, so she’ll prioritize that.”
Even though Chino is very involved in her school time, spending time with friends is super important to her. “We’re very close. I mean, we go out sometimes, we talk about anything, and we’re always there for eachother when we need it,” explained Ortiz, smiling. She also just likes to relax at home. When asked about her hobbies, laughing, Chino responded “Can I, can I say eat? Mm, yeah. Watch netflix. I love Grey’s anatomy.”
Being a senior, with college applications coming up, balancing soccer, school and a social life, it seems like Chino should be collapsing under all the weight. Amazingly though, she’s not. “She does very well at it, she takes her time with what she needs” said Ortiz. Even nger classes struggle lots with responsibility, and how to handle everything that life is throwing their way. “Hh yeah, yeah it’s very hard. I keep a planner. I don’t know what I would do without it, it’s very very helpful. I learned that in AVID as well” Chino explains.
For others who may be struggling with school, Chino’s advice to you is “always always put school first, before friends, so you actually finish your work…Your priorities are first.”