Fireside Chat with The Great Wall of Keller

Jared Canfield, That's Rad Editor

Soccer season is finally here, for those of you who didn’t know. They’ve been practicing as a team since the start of the school year, while running the length of a couple dozen marathons to get in shape too. Junior James Ruiz A.K.A. “The Great Wall of Keller” is the starting goalkeeper for the varsity team, and he gave The Wigwam an inside look into his career and this upcoming season.

Me: When did you first start playing soccer?
James: I first started playing soccer when I was 4 years old with the Keller Soccer Association.

Me: Have you played any other positions aside from goalkeeper?
James: Before I was a goalkeeper I played striker, but after my first game as a goalie I instantly fell in love.

Me: What’s your favorite part about soccer?
James: My favorite part about soccer is knowing how happy it makes me. Soccer can turn a bad day around instantly.

Me: What was it like when you played for Varsity for the first time?
James: It was incredible, I had never seen people that big in my entire life. I was so scared because I was only a freshman, but all of the senior boys made me feel at home which took most of the pressure off.

Me: How are you feeling about the team this year?
James: I feel like we have really come together as a team this preseason. It’s a brotherhood and we all respect each other while holding each other accountable. I believe we are capable of great things this year under the direction of Coach Bates and Shabbott.

Me: Do you have any plans to continue with soccer after high school?
James: Lord-willing, I’d like to play soccer at the collegiate level while furthering my education.

Me: On average, how many miles would you say Coach Bates makes y’all run every week?
James: During the offseason, about 5, but during the season most of our running comes from the games so it varies.