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Randle Swim Standout, Ethan Esparza
SWIMMING CAN BECOME MORE THAN JUST A HOBBY FOR SOME. FOR RANDLE'S ETHAN ESPARZA, IT'S BECOME PART OF HIS IDENTITY
"Originally, my parents just wanted me to be able to swim in the water for safety," said Randle's Ethan Esparza. "Over time, I really enjoyed it. At some point, early on, I just wanted to start swimming competitively. As soon as I did, I fell in love with it."
While swimming has become much more than a hobby, Esparza is fully-engaged at Randle High--playing percussion in the bad. He also wants to run cross country or soccer in the off-season.
But back to swimming--Following his freshman year, Esparza’s ability began to flourish. The young Lions swimmer won the District 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.17 and placed fourth in the Region VI-5A Championship. Earlier in 2022, he advanced to the State Meet on the campus of the University of Texas.
Bradley C.Collier (VYPE)
“I figured out I was pretty good at this [competitive swimming] around my sophomore year,” Esparza said. “I wasn't the best, as a freshman, and struggled to keep up with all the other swimmers. I didn’t place that well at State but the fact that I made it there, I thought it was a pretty good achievement."
The backstroke has always been his race, for a specific reason.
“When I was younger, I really didn’t like to put my face in the water,” Esparza laughed. “Originally, I didn’t want to do freestyle. They [his coaches] told me I should try backstroke. I felt like that was easier for me at the time. So, I just kept with it.”
The 2022-23 Randle High School Swim TeamBradley C. Collier (VYPE)
It’s no wonder that his biggest swimming influence is Olympic backstroker Ryan Murphy.
“I’ve met him in person at a camp and he gave me some pointers, which really helped. He also went to the University of Cal-Berkeley, which is where I want to go.”
George Ranch's Tobias Herrera
BEHIND EVERY GREAT ATHLETE IS A MOTHER.
George Ranch’s Tobias Herrera has been playing soccer for years and his mom, Tracey, has been by his side.
“No matter what, my mom will congratulate me and pump me up, but she never, ever takes her foot off the gas,” Herrera laughed. “She’s always pushing me a little extra and that has made me the man I am today.”
That man is a two-time, first-team, all-district selection who is looking for more.
“My mom also taught me to write down my goals at an early age,” he said. “When you accomplish those goals, you make different goals. You speak it into existence, and it has really worked for me.”
So, what are his goals for this year?
“Our school has only been to the playoffs one-time in school history,” he said. “I want to win a playoff game. I’ve been all-district twice, but now I want to be the District MVP."
With the World Cup dominating the headlines in December, Herrera loves the fact that the game has been on center stage.
“Of course, I was rooting for the US, but I love to watch Brazil and Argentina,” he said. “I’m a (Lionel) Messi guy. What I love about playing and watching soccer is that there are no real set plays. It’s a very fluid game and anything can happen at any time.”
Herrera has aspirations of playing at the college level and his club team Albion is helping him get there. He is not committed but has college showcases lined up. For George Ranch, it’s all about his comrades.
“High school soccer is really great fun with your friends and making memories,” he said. “It’s like playing for your hometown team… the maroon and black. I love this community.”
2022-23 George Ranch Varsity Soccer
Outside the beautiful game, Herrera loves to golf, surf, and hang out with his friends and girlfriend.
“I love rap, but my girlfriend is getting me into country music,” he laughed. “I also love Marvel movies and The Office. I want to be in sales or an entrepreneur, in the future.”
What ’s is something that no one really knows about Herrera?
“I’m a fifth-generation Tobias,” he said. “I’m just going to keep it going. At some point, I’ll have a sixth.”
For now, he will remain focused on the goal and look forward to earning a playoff spot.
“ That's the goal,” he said.