Summit High School senior Max Ortiz has been kicking around a soccer ball since the tender age of 6. Now, he’s a midfielder and captain of the Tigers’ varsity team and finishing up his final season in Summit. He also competes on the high school basketball team and can be found on the tennis courts during his free time.
Why did you decide to join the soccer team?
“Since I was 6, I wanted to be on a team. I have more fun, and being part of a team is better than just being by yourself.”
What do you like best about playing soccer?
“I never get bored of it, that’s the main reason. I’m always playing, even in the rec center during winter. It’s easy for me to play, because I‘ve known it since I was 6 years old. I know the rules, I know everything.”
Are you able to balance sports and schoolwork?
“Sometimes it’s pretty difficult but mostly I can balance myself. After practice I just go over and do my homework, and just before games I finish my homework so I don’t have to worry about it during games. I get help from my teachers. They can help me out and I don’t have to worry about it.”
What were your most memorable moments?
“Oh, man, we’ve been playing since seventh grade, this year’s team, so there’s so many memories. I just remember the first time we had practice together in seventh grade. I got to know these guys and it was just great, they’re all great.”
What have you learned from playing soccer?
“I’ve taught myself how to be balanced, that would be the most important one, and teamwork, that’s another one. You can’t just be selfish and take the whole team on your back, you gotta incorporate all your teammates. That’s what we’ve done this year. There isn’t just one player that makes our team look better; it’s the whole team that makes it good.”
As team captain, what are your responsibilities?
“It’s just making your team be positive, don’t let them hang their heads. Make good decisions for your team and just be a leader out there.
“We gotta be a role model for (junior varsity), too, so when they’re in the team they can be leaders and respect the coaches and all that.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I will be attending college hopefully. I want to go to New York. … Coach Tommy is looking for recruiting soccer players for camp (too), so I want to do that.
“I want to do pre-med, so probably (I’ll study) biochemistry, and I want a B.A. in anesthesiology or radiation therapy.”
What other activities or hobbies do you have?
“I like to go skiing with my family, my uncle, my friends. When we can travel, we go travel. … (I also) watch movies, go to the rec center and work out.”
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
“I would say athletic, determined and risk-taker.”
What’s on your playlist?
“I try to listen to music in the bus, 30 minutes before the game. We have the team talk and I stay in the locker room and just focus in on what I want to do and what’s my plan for the game, so I just have that moment to myself. I listen to rap, to country, and pop.”
Wild Card Question: If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?
“Probably (being able to) fly, that would be nice. You wouldn’t have to pay for airfare or planes, you could go anywhere you want.”
Any final thoughts?
“I just want to say it’s been a good year playing with these guys. I’m definitely going to miss them, and coach Tommy has been great, and a good role model for us and for the team.”