The Ottumwa Courier

April 4, 2014

Senior defender strives for mental toughness

By ANDY HEINTZ Courier sports writer
Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — Mental toughness.

To Ottumwa senior Guillermo Trejo, this character trait is an integral part of being an effective defender in the game of soccer.

“You have to be mentally strong and you have to be mentally faster than the other player,” Trejo said.

Another intangible defenders need to be equipped with is patience, the senior Ottumwa Bulldog said.

“We want to play physical and we also practice on waiting for the opponent to make a mistake rather than to just dive in and make it easier for our opponent to go around us,” Trejo said.

The senior said his team tries to be more physical in practice to compensate for the disparity in size that exists between them and most of their opponents. But lack of size hasn’t deterred Trejo from setting high goals for his team.

“We want to win conference this year and we also want to go ahead and advance to substate, win that and hopefully go to state,” he said.

To attain these ambitious goals, Trejo said the Bulldogs need to pick up on their communication and come prepared and ready to practice.

“Because we play how we practice,” he said.

What Trejo loves most about soccer can be summed up in one word: freedom.

“The freedom and just having the team back you up on every decision you make and ready to support you even if you mess up,” he said.

When Trejo isn’t playing soccer, directs his attention to another passion.

“I’m really passionate about criminal justice and that field of study,” he said. “I really like courts, law, police work and detective work.”

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Gimme Five: Guillermo Trejo 1. Favorite book: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan 2. Favorite Movie: Limitless 3. Favorite Soccer Star: Rafael Márquez 4. Favorite Television Show: Spongebob SquarePants 5. Favorite Hobby: Any other sport