Wenatchee FC just completed their first season in the Evergreen Premier League in 2014. The club was founded to serve the Apple Capital Valley, giving fans a club to support and scores of players a place to play. The importance of WFC is clear. In the very center of Washington geographically, the greater Wenatchee area is also host to talented soccer players whose careers can now keep going after high school and college. In “Apple Valley Grown” we will visit with a few guys who are benefitting from the birth of the Capitals of WFC.
Sometimes you just have to come down from the hills and land in the valley to raise your game. That’s the way it was this summer for Wenatchee United FC defender Olegario Orozco. After leading the Manson Trojans to success up the road near Lake Chelan, he ended up in the Evergreen Premier League’s Apple Valley club. Now he’s playing for another winner at Skagit Valley CC.
“I learned to play soccer thanks to my dad. I would say I started to play from the day I learned how to walk,” Olegario tells goalWA.net.
“When I was very little my dad would take me to the soccer field and tell to kick the ball with both feet and to always keep my head up so I can look to where I was going to pass the ball. I remember I would always go with my dad so I could see his soccer games. I would always play with a soccer ball all over the house and my parents would tell me that the house wasn’t a soccer field. I would also wake up very early in the morning to play and watch English Premier League soccer. Since I was young I would always want to play in any team I could.”
When you are a kid, you’ve got to play locally. “I have lived my whole life in Manson, WA in Lake Chelan. So that’s where I have played most of my soccer. I started playing in youth local leagues and in AAU in elementary. Then in middle school was when I had one of the best opportunities to play. I was invited to play for a club team called Arsenal. This was Sheila Hodges and Mark Hodges team. Thanks to them I was really able to become a better a player. Not just me but they both created a lot of opportunities for all my teammates throughout high school. I am also thankful I was able to be coached by Mike Osborn. From both Mike and Sheila I was able to learn a lot and both have made me the player I am today. I played in Manson High School where I was captain three out of my four years. We made it to the state tournament 3 out of the 4 years. Thanks to Sheila and Mike I would be able to play at Skagit Valley College.”
The Apple Valley called for Orozco thanks to the EPLWA debut of Wenatchee FC. “I got involved with Wenatchee FC thanks to a couple of friends who told me about the try outs. It was another opportunity to play at a higher level so I decided to go. I really enjoyed playing in the EPLWA. It was a good challenge having to play in a competitive league with a lot of talented players. It was a great experience being in a team with players who I had played with when we I younger like Jonathan Rodriguez and Adrian Espinoza. I play either as a right or left back so I would say my favorite moments would be when we would get shutouts. We always worked really hard so it was special when would achieve one.”
“By playing with Wenatchee FC I was able to play more physical. I also learned a lot from my teammates. Competing and playing alongside great players each day at practice helped me become a better player.”
Orozco crossed over the mountains for college ball. “Currently I am playing at Skagit Valley College. We had a rough start in our season but we have been able to overcome many obstacles. We have clinched a playoff spot but we are still competing for the league title and a higher seed for the playoffs. I scored against Shoreline (this season) and as a team we played very well even though we had 10 players for most of the game, and got the win.”
Olegario sees a future with soccer, and a long life in the sport. “My goals are to play for a four year university and then play at the professional level. This has been my dream since I was a little kid. I would like to return and play for Wenatchee FC . I have been involved with soccer my whole life so when I stop playing I would like to become a coach.”
On a soccer journey from the hills of Manson to the valley of Wenatchee, to the spreading fields of Skagit, right now Orozco is right where he belongs.
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