A combination of adrenaline and anxiety bubbles inside when he sees the ball hurling toward him. Everything else surrounding him is insignificant at this moment, he only has one thing on mind.

If I make this save, I’ll be the hero of the game.


“I never think that I’m good,” he said, because once you start to get overly-confident, you lose the original ambition that got you to where you are now. “That motivation will make you work harder.”

When he was three, his parents signed him up to play soccer. That’s was the start for Hector Grajeda.

At the time, he had no idea how important the sport would be for him.

“I just played for fun,” he said. His parents’ concern about him being inactive was the reason for signing him up to play soccer. The decision was the right one.

Now, the junior has accomplished great feats in the sport as a goalie, team captain, a motivating teammate for the rest of his team.

As he waits for his moment, Grajeda says he constantly communicates with his teammates, pushing them, and himself, to play their best.

“For a game, you have to make goals and you have to achieve your goals throughout the game,” he said. This is what Grajeda does before each game as he signs the Cross in prayer, now mentally preparing himself for the game ahead.

Off the field, he draws the same energy he uses to play with to achieve academically.

First in his class his freshman year, and earning straight A’s again sophomore years, Grajeda is motivated to also be a star student. While he’s preparing to become a professional player, Grajeda stays on top of his responsibilities in school. He’s hoping to get accepted into Stanford, but first needs to recover the credits he missed when he left to Chile during the last school year to play soccer.

Despite his many achievements both academically and athletically, Grajeda remains humble.