By Steve Millar
His name is Felipe Ramirez.
Remember it, because odds are you’re going to hear about the Washington junior midfielder quite a bit this fall.
“This upcoming season (in the fall) is going to be really fun,” Ramirez said. “Not everyone gets an opportunity to be a captain, and I want to do everything I can to help my teammates and have a really good season. The goal is to have as much success as we can as a team.”
According to Washington coach Al Perez, one big thing that separates Ramirez from others is his infectious personality.
“Felipe always has the biggest smile on his face,” Perez said. “He’s always having fun and playing hard.
“Since we won a state championship (in Class 2A in 2013), every team we play is gunning for us. When we play (Chicago Public League) teams, we’ve always got to be ready. Felipe is the type of guy who can talk to his teammates and make sure we’re ready to go.”
Ramirez was a big playmaker for the Patriots in 2016, dishing out 14 assists to go along with seven goals.
“I play on the wing, so I can really use my speed out there,” Ramirez said. “My teammates like to send me long balls, because I’m always looking to make something happen.
“I really want to go to a big Division I school. Maybe there will even be a future in soccer beyond that. I’m going to keep working hard to try to make it happen.”
Off the field, Ramirez is committed to making a difference in the lives of others. He and his teammates visited a senior living facility last season through the PepsiCo Showdown.
“That was a lot of fun, just getting to see the smiles on the seniors’ faces,” Ramirez said. “We spent time with them, talking, having lunch and playing some games. It really was a great experience.”
At Washington, Ramirez also spends time helping special education classes when he can.
“We have a small special education community at Washington, and a lot of people take it for granted,” Perez said. “So as a soccer program, we wanted to help out within our own community.
“Felipe loves it. Any chance he gets, he’s down there helping out and interacting with the kids.”
The Felipe Ramirez Profile
2016 stats: 7 goals, 14 assists