The Guadalupe Center Charter High School celebrated their first-ever state championship win Saturday, November 23 at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri, located on the southwest outskirts of St. Louis.
The Aztecs defeated Saint Louis Priory School, a Catholic school for boys, 4-3, becoming Missouri Class 2 soccer state champions.
The Aztec’s David Portillo, a senior at Guadalupe Centers Charter, recorded a hat trick— scoring three of the teams 4 total goals.
A few days prior to the win, Aztecs Coach Ricky Oliveras awarded Portillo with the Athlete of the Week award, recognizing his hard work.
“It meant a lot to me,” said Portillo. “I was very appreciative to get that award. It was good to have my hard work be noticed.”
Portillo lives in the Northeast community and said he has been playing soccer since he was a kid.
“There are videos of me trying to kick a soccer ball around when I was two or three,” he said. “I’ve been playing my whole life.”
Attending Frontier Schools, he transferred to Guadalupe Centers Charter Schools his sophomore year for the chance to play soccer.
The next year, however, was hard for Portillo as he was ineligible to play due to poor grades.
“It was tough not being able to play, but I couldn’t blame anyone but myself, so I just tried harder in school so I could play my senior year.”
Which is exactly what he did. Portillo finished his senior year with a total of 46 goals scored— the highest in the district.
He said his team has been fully dedicated to becoming the best they can be, practicing every day, even in the snow.
“We would practice every single day, waking up sometimes at 6 in the morning to practice, or practicing after school,” he said.
The Aztecs finished the season with a 22-2 record and Portillo said he couldn’t be happier.
“We have been working hard for it,” he said. “We knew we had a chance to go to state and in our first-ever appearance, we were state champs. I’m really happy with the way my senior year turned out.”
Portillo said his next steps will be navigating college and hopefully one day, playing professional ball.
“I love everything about soccer,” he said. “Especially being on the field playing and sharing the field with kids I call my brothers.”