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The not-so-secret recipe for Angel Perez’s success

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The not-so-secret recipe for Angel Perez’s success

Angel Perez playing in his favorite position as a central midfielder. Photo credit: Perez Family

Angel Perez playing in his favorite position as a central midfielder. Photo credit: Perez Family

Angel Perez playing in his favorite position as a central midfielder. Photo credit: Perez Family

Angel Perez playing in his favorite position as a central midfielder. Photo credit: Perez Family

By Luis Miron

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Angel Perez, a 19-year-old Biology student and a two-time captain for the men’s soccer team at Moorpark College, is on his final stages before transferring to a four-year university and taking the next step of his school career. Perez’s biggest struggle during his time at Moorpark College was balancing school, work, and family as well as the responsibility of being the captain for his college team.

“My biggest challenge was trying to balance the difficulty of my major along with my training hours,” Perez said, “I have always been dedicated to training outside of practice and so to put in those hours and also have to study at the same time was challenging.”

A Simi Valley native of Mexican descendant, Perez is the second child of four kids of his parents Angel Perez, Sr. and Olga Perez. Perez, Sr. has always been close and supportive with his children and was a big part of Perez’s influence to get out on the soccer field.

“I enrolled Angel at the age six in Simi Valley Youth Soccer League, we are a big soccer family,” Perez, Sr. said. “My father is a huge soccer fan and never misses a game, I played growing up with local teams and her older sister also played while Angel was young.”

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A young Perez during his early years as a soccer player. Photo credit: Perez Family

Perez is a natural box-to-box central midfielder. He enjoys running up and down the field as well as winning and recovering the ball. He feels confident being at a key role in the heart of the field and enjoys being the one responsible for creating key plays inside the field.

Perez has always stayed motivated inside the field by the love of the game, and his father has been a huge motivation for him outside the field.

“My dad inspires me inside and outside the field. Whenever he comes to the games I feel a chip over my shoulder and I tend to play better,” Perez said. “Even if I had a good game he always tells me what I can do to improve my game.”

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Perez controlling and leading the midfield during his time at Royal High school. Photo credit: Perez Family

Angel arrived at Moorpark College during the fall semester of 2017. He is an experienced soccer player that has been playing for both club soccer and all four years at Royal High School.

As a natural born leader, Angel was chosen by head coach Jake Gwin to be one the captains during his first year playing for Moorpark College.

“Angel is a mentally tough guy,” said Gwin. “He is a leader and he always steps up on tough situations.”

With the support of Gwin, Perez took the captain role for both his freshman and sophomore years at Moorpark College. He took the role head-on and was comfortable with the role as he had been the captain at Royal High School for his junior and senior years.

“I was a freshman and it was my first year at Moorpark, but I have already understood my role as a starting midfielder,” Perez said. “As soon as Jake said he wanted me to be the captain, I said yes and told him I would do my best. I felt very honored.”

Perez’s biggest challenge while being captain was keeping the players motivated and playing together at a high level in such a tough conference against high-quality teams like Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica College. This was not an easy challenge for Perez, but with the help of Coach Gwin and his family, Perez was able to overcome a busy semester full of challenging games, long hours of studying and stressful tests.

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Perez and fellow teammates celebrating a goal during preseason. Photo credit: Conrad De Santiago

“I just had to look forward towards the future. I had a great coach who talked to me a lot and every time I needed an outburst or just wanted to let go, my family was there to help,” Perez said.

Perez’s love for biology first came when he suffered a severe injury known as a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal inside the field during his junior year of high school, which put him on the sidelines the rest of the season.

“Along the way of my recovery, the more I did some research I fell in love with medicine and surgery,” Perez said. “I had something taken away from me that I love to play and ever since then I knew I want to work with bones and ligaments and pursue the medical field.”

The help and advice from all his family members are what kept Perez looking forward to his end goal, to one day to attend medical school, become a surgeon and help others. Perez applied to several schools, the list includes Johns Hopkins University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UCLA. Perez made sure that each school he applied to had a soccer program, so he can still be out on the field.

Perez has had a successful time at Moorpark College and is hoping to finish off his spring semester strong before transferring. Currently having a 3.4 GPA and being named Athlete of the Month of September is proof that Perez’s hard work is paying off.

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Sports run deep in the Perez family, soccer being the most popular between the four siblings. Photo credit: Perez Family

“I have two younger brothers, an older sister and the best parents in the world to me and every time I needed to talk to them about anything they were there for me,” said Perez.

He has proven that with the right mentality and with the support of your loved ones, the sky is the limit.

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