Dawson County High School senior and varsity soccer team captain Patrick Rosales became the first member of his immediate family to go to college after committing to play at the collegiate level during a scholarship signing ceremony last week.
Rosales signed a two-year scholarship April 12 to play for Andrew College in Cuthbert.
“I saw Andrew as another opportunity because Coach (Taylor) Jones gave me a lot of attention during my visit,” Rosales said. “I feel like I have the ability to play right away, and he will push my game to the next level.”
Rosales’ passion for the game was on full display during the signing ceremony at the performing arts center as coaches from both on-campus and off-campus clubs took turns praising his personal character and athletic skill with a collection of comments best summarized by Tigers Head Coach Patrick Muenchen.
“(Rosales) is very passionate about soccer, our team here, his club team, and his desire to continue playing at the next level,” Muenchen said. “He is very friendly and has great leadership skills. We are very proud of your accomplishments as a Tiger, and we wish you the very best in the future with the Andrew College Fighting Tigers.”
According to Andrew College Head Coach Jones, it was those personal qualities that sparked his initial interest in Rosales, an interest that was justified after he had the chance to meet with Rosales in person and watch him play.
“(Rosales) immediately came off as a sincere and respectful young man, and after watching about 15 seconds of his film, I knew that he had a lot of potential at the college level,” Jones said. “After speaking with him multiple times and seeing him play in person, seeing how well he fit in with the guys and how hard he was competing, sealed the deal for me.”
Rosales said he hopes to transition to a Division I school after his time with Andrew College.
“Hopefully, from there he will move on to a D-1 school,” Beatrice Gutierrez, Rosales' mother, said. “That’s the plan.”
“It will be a lot of hard work,” Jared Hicks, Rosales' stepfather, added. “He likes to experience life. We just have to keep him focused on God, No. 1, and help him define his long-term goals, what does he want?”