While everyone was at home relaxing this past summer, 17-year-old José “Pepé” Reyes was out practicing with his championship-winning travel soccer team.
Pepé Reyes has been playing soccer since he was 4 years old. He has been playing with his travel soccer team, El Camino Real Salinas-America, for a little over one season, or four months.
Out of the 18 players on the team, Pepé is the youngest. This season, the travel soccer team won its entire tournament, and overall the team is ranked 35 out of 44 in California, with a game record of 12-8-1.
The travel team practices three days a week for two hours. However, because Pepé is so dedicated, he practices an extra 15 hours in a normal five-day week.
As for playing soccer here at CHS, he did not make varsity as a freshman. Sophomore and junior year, he did make varsity.
Senior Benji Dansky, who plays midfield with Reyes, thinks that Pepé is a really good soccer player.
“He always works well with me in midfield,” Dansky says.
Some activities he enjoys outside of soccer are beach volleyball and tennis. He may not excel at them, but that doesn’t stop him from playing. Reyes has noticed that instead of all this practice time lowering his grades, it has actually raised them.
On a normal school night, Pepé stays up until about 1 a.m. He lives in Big Sur, so when practice ends it’s about a three-hour drive from Salinas to Big Sur, and normally he gets home at around 9 p.m.
“Coming home so late definitely takes time away from studying and doing homework,” the rising soccer star comments. “It’s hard to stay up so late, but I have to do what’s necessary to keep up in school and stay on the team.”
Pepé’s favorite soccer player is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, most commonly referred to as Pelé. He inspires Pepé to try his hardest while playing soccer and during school.
Reyes’ favorite quote about soccer by Pelé is, “Success is no accident. It’s hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”