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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.
Klein Oak's Alaina Nugier
To be a great Centerback on the soccer field, someone needs to be tough and gritty.
They have to embrace contact and sacrifice their body while doing anything and everything to thwart an opponent’s scoring chance. They have to be like Alaina Nugier.
The Klein Oak senior loves the physicality of fútbol. Don’t let her smile and friendly demeanor fool you. Nugier is as tough as they come.
“It took a lot of yelling from coaches, at first, to get me to go for the ball and scrap,” Nugiersaid. “Once I got more comfortable, it just worked. I started soccer when I was six years old and I was trying out various things. When I was 10, I really started getting into it and wanting to be better.”
Nugier appreciates the team aspect of the game.
“If it was a single-person sport, I don't think I’d have as much fun,” she said. “Teammates make things a lot better.”
She also enjoys getting her uniform dirty by constantly throwing herself in the way of the ball. As a child, Nugier looked up to star defender/midfielder Julie Ertz because of the strength and toughness she played with.
“I love making tackles,” Nugier said. “Those moments when you’re running up to the ball and make a good slide tackle …it just feels good. You get to stop the attack and can counterattack. It’s cool to me.”
Nugier is a WesternKentucky University commit, so her soccer career will go on to the collegiate level. But her long-term goal is to go into nursing.
“I like helping people,” Nugier said. “There are always going to be jobs in the medical field, and I think it ’s really cool to learn about the body.”
Before then, however, she plans to enjoy her senior year playing for a school and community she adores.
“It’s my second family,” Nugier said of Klein Oak .“I have so many friends and I’m always having a good time. Especially with soccer, I really love it. It's fun messing with the forwards and getting them agitated and out of their game. On the field, I’m definitely very competitive. I’m always going after it.”
Last season, Nugier was the anchor of the backline for a Panthers’defense that surrendered just 27 goals in 23 games. She was honored as District 15-6A’s Defensive player of the Year and was a Texas Association of Soccer Coaches All-Region 2 first-team selection. A team captain, Nugier also contributed four goals and two assists.