Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is proud to introduce our spotlight athlete for June 2016…Samantha Avila! This United South High School senior might be just two days away from graduation, but it’s the impact she made throughout her four years in high school that resonate with astounding skill and passion. Her devotion to her studies and sports have laid the foundation for her upcoming collegiate years.
Samantha grew up surrounded by sports. Her love of sports was instilled in her by her own mother, who grew up playing sports as well. Samantha started out as an avid track star and basketball player in middle school. When she transitioned to high school, she decided to further her sports career as a volleyball player where she was in JV volleyball until her sophomore year and then on the Varsity team her senior year.
During Samantha’s sophomore year, her volleyball coach took notice of our featured athlete’s talent and skill. Her coach eagerly approached Sam and asked her whether she was willing to give soccer a chance. A little apprehensive at first, she reflects,
“I was a sophomore in high school and I had never kicked a soccer ball. I knew the girls on the team had been playing since a young age and were all way more experienced that I was, but nevertheless I decided to try out.”
Her curiosity to pursue a new sport paid off. After a rigorous week of tryouts, her coach announced that she had made the Varsity soccer team. Her first few games were spent on the bench with almost no playing time. Not feeling comfortable on the sidelines, she was determined to prove that she was capable of so much more. Things changed for the better when a few weeks into the season, Sam made it onto the starting lineup. She was ecstatic and determined to keep her spot. That year, she and the rest of her teammates made it all the way to the state playoffs. Samantha had definitely improved her skill on the soccer field, and she was only getting started.
The following year, as a junior, Samantha and her team placed third in a very competitive district. Samantha also received the Varsity Soccer All-District Honorable Mention Award.
When Samantha began her senior year in 2015, she was ready to make the most out of her last year in high school. She felt that she had grown as a soccer player substantially. That growth was noticed by her coach as she was named Team Captain at the beginning of her senior year. Another proud accomplishment for Samantha is that she was able to assist her team win the district title, placing them in the playoff bracket. The United South High School soccer team went on to become Bi-District Champions. During her final season as a soccer player, our featured athlete was also honored with the 1st Team All-District and the All-Academic awards.
Her success on the field has come with some minor struggles. She has had several sports related injuries throughout her athletic career including an injured knee and hip, which led her to the physical therapy department at Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic. She largely credits the help of LSMC’s physical therapists for helping her get back in the game.
Samantha’s strengths also resonate in the classroom. She is as devoted to her studies as she is to her academics. She is enrolled in the Distinguished Achievement Plan at The Academy of Global Business and Technology at United South High School where she maintains a GPA of 4.13 and is ranked 5 out of 782 students. She is also actively involved in academic extracurricular activities such as UIL Mathematics, LULAC, and the National Honor Society.
As Samantha’s high school career comes to a close on June 3, 2016, she has no regrets and is thankful for all the risks she took to become a great athlete and student. Playing sports has taught her how to lead, how to be a team player, and how to have unstoppable determination to reach your goals. Most importantly, she is thankful that each time she has been on the field or on the court, she has been able to play sports for her mom, who has always been her biggest fan.
Samantha plans on attending the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley where she wants to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. When asked if she would ever pursue sports professionally, Samantha says,
“Not professionally, no. I might consider playing Intramural sports in college, but it’s been my dream to study Civil Engineering. I still love sports and recognize the significant role it has played in my life.”
LSMC congratulates and is proud to recognize Samantha Avila as our spotlight athlete for June 2016!