David Ruiz leads Plant City High’s boys soccer team in points in 2019.
One of this season’s bright spots for Plant City High School’s boys soccer team has been junior David Ruiz. After scoring two goals in last week’s 3-3 tie against Durant, Ruiz took the team lead with 10 total points (four goals, two assists) this season.
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You all have a pretty good record (3-1-1) to start the season, but how would you say things are going from an on-field perspective?
I think we started off really well with our first game against Gaither. Toward the end, we started slacking a little bit. I think we could have had a better game against Crest. We had them in our pocket until the last minutes. We all got caught up really high and I think that was what determined the game because they had so much space in the middle. I believe that if we had kept everything compact inside the middle, maybe we could have had a better result and played better together as a team.
You had 20 points all of last season and have 10 right now. How do you feel about your own play so far?
I think, as a team together — obviously I wouldn’t be doing this without the team. That’s what makes us better. If we all work together and push each other, we can all win and reach our goal.
Where have you really improved since last year?
I think getting on the final third of the field and taking my chances. If you don’t take the shot, you never know if it’s gonna go in or not. If you take all your chances, they’re gonna all end up in the goal if you can get them on target.
What’s something you took from last season that’s motivating you this year?
Basically to just work hard. The goal is there. We’ve just got to work hard for it every day and show it off. Our talent’s there, we’ve just got to show it to the people and let them know who we are.
You’ve been with the team a couple years now and know these guys well. What’s this team’s potential?
I think we can go really far with the group of boys we have. If we all work together and work for each other, we’ll all build up, become a better team and win a championship.
Do you have any personal goals for this season?
Not really. I just want to help the team out as much as I can to win the district, and we want to try to win regionals. The main goal is to win states again.
Do you have any college plans?
Right now, I’m still thinking. I’ve got a couple offers and I think that if I keep doing what I try to do best, I’ll continue improving myself and sooner or later move to college ball.
What’s some of the best advice your coach (Caleb Roberts) has given you since you’ve been here?
Be family. Be family with everybody and respect everybody. Work hard and go for it.
Do you play any other sports?
Just soccer. I think I’ve been playing soccer my whole life. I really haven’t had anything else cross my head, you know? I’ve always been focused on the sport and hopefully it takes me a little further.
Which pros do you look up to?
The best player I look up to is Lionel Messi. I try to keep my style of play around his. I know it’s difficult but the more I train every day, the more I can be better at it.