Male Athletes Of The Year

Dominic Lima-Hernandez  & Madelynn Foulkrod
Staff Writers

Ruben Lopez and Victor Plesco have been rewarded with the honorable title of male athletes of the year due to their hard-work and dedication towards their respective sports team.

Male athlete of the year is a very respectable title, and the two men who have earned this nobility are surely deserving of it. Victor Plesco of Mission Viejo High’s water polo team, and Ruben Lopez of Mission’s football, track, and lacrosse team, have both dedicated a large portion of their time in highschool towards their individual sports. The title of male athlete of the year is one to be praised, and it is truly Plesco and Lopez’s efforts that have earned them this sort of recognition. We asked a few questions to Ruben Lopez and Victor Plesco. The first set of questions were asked to Ruben Lopez and the second to Victor Plesco. 

  • Q:When asked what were some personal goals you had for yourself this year?
  •  Ruben’s response was “Well I try to prioritize school first and then sports. Without the grades I have, I would be nowhere. I then put everything else into athletics with football, track, lacrosse, and lifting. Try to stay competitive and in shape year round for all my sports.”
  • Q: How did covid affect your football/track season? 
  • A: “Covid messed up things schedule wise. I didn’t end up going to CIF for track because football was at the same time. Also was a lot on my body physically but at the end of the day got things done.”
  • Q: Favorite high school sports memory?
  • A. “Favorite High School memory was beating San Clemente at home, senior year after losing to them the year before.”
  • Q: What are your goals for playing football in college?
  • A: “I plan on playing football in college. Currently committed to playing football at the University of San Diego. Really excited to get out there and compete and do the best I can to make the team better.”
  • Q: How did you balance sports and school?
  • A: “Balancing school and sports definitely got easier overtime. It really just comes down to effort with grades and sports. If you have a reason to keep good grades you will push yourself to make sure you maintain good grades or else there is no sports.”
  • Q: What were the most challenging moments you had to overcome (injuries, mental health etc…) 
  • A: “I was very blessed to be healthy all four years with no major injuries. While mental health was making sure to stay positive through anything. No matter how hard things may have gotten. You need to understand you may make mistakes, which is ok. But learn from them and move on, don’t make them twice. While also making sure you  have fun! If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you will be metally drained and have no drive to keep doing what you do.”

The following questions were for Victor Plesco

  • Q: What challenges did you face during covid?
  • A: “During covid I had to take into account the safety of my elderly grandma when training, so I chose to work out a socially-distanced training plan with  the team, swimming with Nadadores and taking extra precautions during practice.
  • Q: What was your favorite water polo memory?
  • A: “My favorite polo memory is the Hungary trip we took before my sophomore year, especially this one day after an Oregon concert when there was a serious downpour and we all had to run back to the hotel, with everyone’s stuff being soaked and the blow-dryers burning out from us trying to dry out clothing.”
  • Q: What does it mean to you to be the scholar athlete of the year?
  • A: “I feel pretty flattered to be scholar athlete of the year, especially knowing there’s some athletes at the school that are in 3 sports every year. I’m glad that I put in the time to do well in classes and sports, and the scholar athlete is one of those rewards that came out of the effort over the years.”
  • Q: What will you miss most about high school sports?
  • A: “I’ll miss the time spent hanging out with the team the most, whether it was having funny moments in and out of practice or coming  down to the wire in game. We created serious bonds and had tons of fun, and I’ll miss them the most.”
  • Q: How did you balance sports and school?
  • A:  “To balance sports and school I tried to maximize the amount of time I had during the school day to get work done, so then I’d be less worried about getting home from practice and still having loads to do. This worked pretty well for me all four years, as I could still get in bed pretty early to be in the weight room or zero period the next morning.”
  • Q: What were the most challenging moments you had to overcome (injuries, mental health, etc…)
  • A:  “Luckily I was never seriously injured from water polo, the most being black eyes or scratches from the other team. I would say the biggest challenge I had to overcome was, as mentioned before, the changes during Covid and the safety of my grandma who I live with. I’m glad the team was supportive of the alternative training I undertook, and it was quite successful coming into our season this year.”
  • Q: What are your plans for college? 
  • A: “I’ll be going to UC Irvine to study Aerospace Engineering.”


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