Congratulations LUCAS BETANCOURT, commits to college soccer
Congratulations to Lucas Betancourt on committing to Wisconsin Lutheran College to play soccer! Lucas has been a soccer player and member of the club most of his life. His father, Diego, is somewhat responsible for his passion for the game. Having grown up in Columbia, Diego played soccer throughout his school years. He then played soccer with Lucas, and his sister, when they were young, going on to coach both his kids’ teams with the club.
“Lucas practiced Taekwondo and earned a 1st degree Black Belt. His perseverance as a student and soccer player leads him to do the best he can,” said his father. “He was a freshman, junior varsity, and varsity reserve goalkeeper at Arrowhead H.S. His perseverance on the soccer field – both in the good seasons (good teams and coaches), and the bad seasons – have made him a good goalkeeper, all around soccer player, and confident young man. He is very excited about college and is looking forward to playing soccer in college. I believe he will do well and I am very proud of him for that.”
One of Lucas’ coaches believes he’s got what it takes to continue to improve his game. Coach Tony Pierce, who earned US Soccer’s top A-License and a National Goalkeeping License, had this to say: “Lucas is a fine soccer player. He is hard working and is always looking to improve his game. On the field he communicates well, which is very important for a goalkeeper. He has good reactions and instincts for the position.”
We asked Lucas about how soccer has been a part of most of his life…
When and how did you begin to play soccer?
I began playing soccer at the age of 4. I was exposed to soccer through my dad (Diego) and my older sister (Cristina). Both my dad and my sister were currently playing, and, in addition, my dad served as team coach (for the Sussex Soccer Club, before merging with Pewaukee to come PSU) for both me and my sister’s teams.
How long have you played with the Club?
As of this year, I have been a part of the club for 14 years. Although there are many different soccer clubs nearby, I found this club to be essential for my particular position as goalkeeper.
Have you always played a competitive level?
Absolutely! Playing at a competitive level gives me the drive to keep playing and get better. As soon as I turned 11, and was eligible for the select programs, I immediately signed up for tryouts. Ever since then, I’ve been a part of the club’s select program, grade school team, and eventually the high school team (Arrowhead High School).
What is your specialty/position?
My specialty is the goalkeeper position. I’ve played with PSU for 14 years, grade school for two years, and high school all four years. Not only that, but I’ve also attended Camp Shutout (current college and professional goalkeepers) for the last 2 years, worked with a 1st, all high school state team pick goalkeeper, and two Milwaukee Wave Goalies (currently working with one). All have major contributions to who I am today.
What’s your best memory with PSU?
My best memory of this club is when I got to work with my father at the youth level when I was younger, along with a couple of other coaches. Not only did he make practice a whole lot of fun, but he really taught me, and my teammates, the essential skills towards the game and towards life overall. The proof of his guidance is constantly reflected in my gameplay and I learn more and more about myself with every opportunity I get to play.
How did PSU help you develop/prepare for the high school scene, and now college?
As I had mentioned before, PSU is a club that I found essential to my training. PSU, to me, is one of those clubs that is consistently growing stronger, as a whole, among all of the soccer programs. I wanted to be a part of this ever-growing community. This club has taught me that winning is not everything and we can learn more about ourselves from a loss. Through my experience with the club, we have won games, and we have lost plenty, and that is something that should be taken positively. PSU has allowed me to develop an open-minded mentality that has been very useful throughout the last four years. This mentality has allowed me to see the game from all sorts of perspectives and to take each moment on the field, whether it’s good or bad, as a learning experience and, just like a quiz or test, an opportunity to show others what you can do and how you can contribute to the team. I am looking forward to finishing off my final year for the club confidently in the regular season.
What’s your best memory of your teammates? Coaches?
If we are talking beyond the club, I would say my best memory of teammates would be during my high school seasons. The night before we had games at home, we would have pasta parties. Getting to know and hang out with people from all different clubs was the greatest time. For coaches, my best memory of coaches would be my father, and my PSU coach Zach Papanikolau from most recent years. Coach Zach lead the team, and my dad had helped out here and there, and it was a very unique experience. Given Zach’s background (international play), I found those two years of my life to be very unique. His coaching style is nothing like you have ever seen and it really brought out the best in me. Those two, once again, changed my game for the upcoming high school years and it truly showed. These are memories that I will never forget.
What was your biggest soccer challenge?
Oh my, this is going to be a hard one to keep short and simple. Anyways, my biggest soccer challenge actually happened this past high school season. Being the only Arrowhead player who has been in the program for 4 years and one of the goalkeepers that wasn’t injured for tryouts, by various decisions, I was not selected to be a part of the varsity team. This was a mental challenge for the ages and it put me in a rough state for some time, but it also brought out my passion for this sport more than it ever had before. Upon hearing this news, I worked relentlessly with my trainers and teammates to get those repetitions and to bring my best to the table to get a spot that I felt was rightfully deserved. They ended up calling me up a few times during the season and those were the times I played my best. Midway through the season, I started getting in touch with the soccer coaches at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) and they were interested in seeing how I played. They went on to invite me to an overnight stay at the college with the opportunity to play with the college team. By the next morning, the opportunity to sign for them was offered to me. By the end of the high school season, I was also awarded a varsity letter given to me directly by the varsity coach. Overall, as of February 7th, 2018, I had officially committed to WLC’s division three program, being one of two seniors, out of the entire varsity team, to sign to a college. This challenge has allowed me to go above and beyond what I ever thought. For all of those people out there struggling to get to where they want to be, I hope that this challenge inspires you to follow your passions and that you can do anything you want, in life, if you want it badly enough.