Fabian Sandoval contributed to a historic inaugural season for the 2018 Thunder Ridge High School boys soccer team which included a 5A District 5-6 championship and a trip to the 5A state tournament.
He added to the first-year school’s history Tuesday in Thunder Ridge’s lecture hall by signing to play soccer for Blue Mountain Community College. The Northwest Athletic Conference school in Pendleton, Ore., will be covering half of his tuition.
“I didn’t think I could do it, but I never gave up and kept my head up,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval played defender for the Titans, but said he has played every position throughout his life. Blue Mountain’s coaches recruited him as a midfielder after watching him in a try out in November during a visit to Pendleton. He credited a soccer friend for suggesting he look into Blue Mountain, and it ultimately led to an offer during his visit.
“I’ve always wanted to play for the big leagues,” Sandoval said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was a baby, but I joined my first team in seventh, eighth grade.”
Thunder Ridge head boys soccer coach Corey Toldson said Sandoval will definitely be missed next season, and athletic director Cody Jackson said he hopes Sandoval will remember his high school as he continues his career. Being part of Thunder Ridge’s historic season and becoming his school’s first soccer signee is something Sandoval said he will not forget.
“I played here, I was educated here,” Sandoval said. “It’s great because my name’s a part of it.”