By Patrick Olson
With a four-year career on the soccer team and a pair of seasons with the football team, Orlando Sanchez completed a successful athletic career on Thursday, when he graduated from Crockett High School at the Erwin Center.
Born in Stephenville, Texas, Orlando moved to Austin at an early age and attended Galindo Elementary. He spent two years at Porter Middle School and played football, before completing eighth grade at Bedichek Middle School. Sanchez played varsity soccer at Crockett as a freshman and sophomore before expanding his athletic endeavors as a junior.
“The football team needed a kicker, and I wasn’t interested at first,” said Sanchez. “I was shagging balls for my friend Isaac Bernal when he was trying out for the team. The coaches said to me, ‘how ‘bout you give it a try’ and after trying it, I liked it.” Sanchez then became the team’s primary placekicker, delivering multiple successful onsides kicks in a win over Lanier.
Orlando’s favorite athletic experience occurred versus Lanier as he recorded a hat trick (three goals) in a convincing soccer victory over the Vikings. Successfully completing an Advanced Placement statistics class was his favorite academic experience. “Math is my favorite subject,” Sanchez added. “I love math.” Orlando will attend Schreiner College in Kerville this fall, and aims to earn a degree in exercise science.
Tristan Donovan, Orlando’s select team coach, provided a positive influence for the Crockett senior. “He played professionally in England and he taught me to work hard in every practice,” Sanchez noted. Orlando offers important advice for younger pupils aspiring to play varsity sports at Crockett. “Listen to your coaches,” he said. “They know what they’re doing. And play every game like it’s the last one of your life.”