If there is one person who represents Washington High School soccer, it is Biniam Mitiku. Biniam has been a varsity player all four years and has been the team captain for the last three years. Biniam has gone from playing defender to being the best midfielder in Fremont. He has garnered respect from his teammates due to his mature leadership, sportsmanship, and all around talent. When asked what being the captain means to him, he says, “I am very honored to be captain and hope when I leave whoever is captain will do the same.” Ultimately, what makes Biniam such a good player is his mindset: have a good attitude, win or lose. Every time he steps onto the pitch his only goal is to improve.
Biniam started playing soccer at the age of four and is currently playing for the San Jose Earthquakes Academy. The team plays in the National Premier League (NPL) and is considered to be one of the best in the country. All this experience and exposure to high levels of soccer are what make him a great leader. Even when the team is losing, he encourages his teammates that if they miss, it’s okay. “Soccer games aren’t about one play only,” he says. “If you miss it’s fine, there are more plays to come.”
Playing at a young age can sometimes cause players to lose their love for the sport, and distractions can make them stop playing. However, Biniam has even more love and passion for soccer than he did as a child. Every athlete faces challenges, and Biniam has faced many, including close losses in tournaments, but what stands out about Biniam is that he does not dwell on his setbacks. He stays optimistic by focusing solely on the game and not letting any ideas get to his head, such as what he’s going to eat after the game or if he did well on his exam, because all of that can affect the way he plays. “I learned that it’s not worth it to get mad or let the other team into my head,” he explains. “It’s always best to just play my own game and give my all at all times.”
Although school isn’t much of a challenge for Biniam, it’s Biniams main focus and he keeps up with his schoolwork more than anything else. He balances soccer and school by only playing soccer when it is needed and no more after that. Coach David Cordova says, “In order for an athlete to achieve excellence they have to demonstrate it in different ways: through soccer, academics, helping their community and at home. But school comes first.”
The dream of many highschool athletes is to go professional, and that’s exactly what Biniam intends to do. Biniam has wanted to become a pro soccer player since a young age, but if something happens and it doesn’t work out, his plan is to go to college in Southern California and get a master’s and hopefully a PhD in Kinesiology. Biniam says, “I would love to become a pro since it’s been a dream of mine since I was four but if it doesn’t work I want to study and work hard for my career and still do something to help people out.”
Now that soccer season is here, Biniam is thinking about the future.. “My main goal is to help the team as much I can (especially the freshmen) so when I leave, the next captain will know what I did and do it but better,” he says.
This reporter has graduated.
Patricio Torres is a senior at Washington High School. Patricio is a second year staff reporter for the Hatchet. Patricio's interests are mainly on Sports and Health since he is an athlete here at Washington. He was born in Pomona, CA and moved to Fremont at 4 years old. His interests in writing are mostly for Sports and Health, although he enjoys writing for News once in a while. After high school, he will be attending Ohlone College then transferring to San Jose State to achieve a Major in Electrical Engineering.