EL PASO, Texas — El Paso Locomotive FC Academy was excited to announce its second ever college-bound graduating class at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at Southwest University Park, with five student-athletes making the jump into collegiate soccer.
“We put a lot of resource and emphasis into [sending our players to college],” Academy Director Ivan Militar said during the press conference. “There is a lot of effort to make sure these kids can continue their academic and athletic careers beyond youth soccer. We are thankful for all the resources that we are given to carry out these goals and we are hoping that we can continue doing this moving forward.”
The full graduating class is as follows:
Leonardo Aguirre (20) – University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
Peleg Armendariz (19) – University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
Emilio Rodriguez (18) – West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
Miguel Fierro (17) – College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York, NY
Rommel Tarin (18) – Taft College, Taft, CA
College Recruitment Coordinator Alex Pozo spoke to those in attendance about the importance of helping Academy players go to college, to help them find paths to continue their development both on and off the pitch.
“Education is the best investment we can make and it’s my job to help connect our players to colleges to continue their careers,” Pozo addressed. “It is my job to ensure we help these players through every step of the process to connect with and be recruited by colleges and universities. I am proud to see these players here and I want to tell them that their education, hard work, talent and family has helped guide them to this opportunity.”
To highlight the difference that going to compete at the collegiate level can make on a player’s life, former Locomotive player and forward for the University of Vermont Men’s Soccer Noe Coutino was present to acknowledge how much his life has changed thanks to the opportunities presented to him by the Academy and to congratulate the 2023 class for their accomplishment.
“It’s important for us young players to play at such a competitive level as well as getting an education,” he said. “The experience I had here gave me so many opportunities and helped me get scouted. It’s an incredible feeling for us and for [the 2023 graduating class]. I wouldn’t have had my opportunities if it wasn’t for this Academy. [I wish the] best of luck to these guys.”