After his final soccer game in October, Moriarty senior David Vaquera gathered with his fellow seniors and his coaches near the bench on the sidelines.
“It’s pretty sad to know that it’s my last year doing soccer for the high school, but I’m glad that I had a great team to share this time with,” Vaquera said.
The Pintos soccer squad was just one of the teams Vaquera shared his time with this past fall. He also was on two other teams. This winter, he’s on another, and in the spring, he’ll add yet another.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to do a little bit of everything,” Vaquera said.
A lot of high school student-athletes participate in a fall sport and add a different one over the winter or another one in the spring. But most student-athletes play only one sport. The National Federation of State High School Associations estimates less than 45 percent of high school student-athletes play multiple sports.
Vaquera has been a four-sport athlete for many years, and when he stuck another feather in his cap this past fall by adding football to his already crowded schedule, it put him in a rare class.
“I’ve wanted to do football for a while too, but I’ve always had cross country or soccer, so I didn’t know if I could manage all of those,” Vaquera said.
Vaquera credits Pintos’ head soccer coach Jordan Allcorn for encouraging him to be the kicker for Moriarty’s football team.
“Yeah, he told me that I could probably be the kicker this year and I just went for it, and it worked out,” Vaquera said.
Vaquera handled kickoffs and extra points after touchdowns for the Pintos and said he “had a blast.”
His most prolific game was in October during the Pintos’ 53-6 win over Pojoaque when he hit five consecutive extra points.
“David’s a helluva worker,” Allcorn said. “He works his butt off.”
Vaquera said he started his multi-sports journey when he was about 7 years old. His first sport was baseball with East Mountain Little League. He got into AYSO soccer a year later.
“I did one year of baseball, then it was straight to soccer after that,” he said. He has been playing soccer ever since. He also picked up wrestling, cross country, and track along the way.
Vaquera’s third fall sport was as a member of Moriarty’s boys cross country squad. The team made it to the Class 4A state cross country championships in November and placed sixth.
Vaquera is currently on the wrestling team. He said he will continue to run track in the spring.
Vaquera said he juggles multiple sports by simply making time for everything, which sometimes means staying up late to finish his homework.
“Yeah, homework gets hard, especially when there’s late games,” he said. “But I just make sure school’s my first priority and then sports.”
Vaquera said playing multiple sports has taught him a lot about dedication and time management.
“There’s not always time for everything, so you gotta stick to it even when it’s hard,” he said. “And just managing everything, it’s just having the dedication and the work ethic.”
And besides having fun, he said it’s his way of staying active.
“It keeps me busy,” he said. “And it’s a way to, like, release myself in the competition.”