Whenever you hear the phrase “Jesuit Soccer,” the first person you most likely think of is Diego Sierra. A captain on the varsity soccer team and his Solar ECNL club team along with a position as vice president of his class, he spends a lot of his time in leadership positions, and is used to making decisions under pressure. Sierra is choosing between two Top 25 D1 schools, Indiana and Ohio State, as to where he will play soccer, and unfortunately will be departing from Jesuit this year. I recently was able to sit down with Sierra to ask him about his time here at Jesuit and what his plans for the future are. Let’s take a look at what he had to say:
If there was one teacher you’d have to thank for like inspiring you at Jesuit, who would it be?
“There’s definitely a lot of teachers here that have inspired me in my studies. Some that I can think of right now are involved in two separate things, academics and general life. For academics, I would say Mrs. Segal, because her class really just pushed me to be a really good student, and, more importantly, a really organized student. We had homework every day. I really had to manage that. We never knew when we were going to have pop quizzes. For life, I would say Mr. Hanley. He’s like a really good guy. I spend a lot on my mornings in Student Council, and all these events with them taught me a lot. He’s taught me how to be a man and what it’s like to have like responsibility in your hands and how to own up to your mistakes if you make some. I feel like he just taught me a lot and prepared me well to go into college.”
What do you think has allowed you to have these opportunities to go to these schools?
“Definitely staying on top of my stuff. Working hard, you know. That’s the biggest thing. Just time management. I’m a pretty busy guy. I have club soccer, school soccer, and am a part of Student Council, which means I’ve got meetings in the morning. On top of that, you’ve got to add schoolwork and applying to colleges. It’s really just staying on top of your stuff, time management. I feel like if you put all that together, then you have a pretty good chance of accomplishing great things.”
How has your position on being Student Council affected you?
“Being on student council as vice president of my class has definitely been a big responsibility to have. You have a lot of weight on your shoulders. The way you carry yourself around the school and outside of the school is very impactful. You can’t just be messing around. You have to be an example for others. You have to be an example for other students, either in your grade or younger grades. You can’t be doing stuff you shouldn’t be doing because anything happens and things can get out. A picture gets taken or whatever, you know? Nowadays, every time someone takes a picture, the picture can fly around, and all of a sudden, you don’t have your spot anymore and stuff like that. So it’s just always doing the right thing even when no one’s watching.”
How has soccer taken you to the places that you want to go to? How has soccer been a big part of your life?
“Soccer is a big part of my life. I’ve been playing since I was like three. It’s just a bunch of tournaments for club, and soccer all around the U.S. is just kind of like emailing coaches here and there. It’s something you have to stick with. Even when there’s not a tournament, it’s just like updates on your life, updates on your test scores, your grades, how’s your high school season going. You get to the point of talking to them a lot, and then sometimes they’ll email you back. Sometimes they won’t. If you really want that spot or position, you just have to keep trying. If they say no, then you move on and you find a team that wants you until they say yes. It’s just something that I knew was going to happen. I have tried with a couple different schools and different teams until I finally found a right fit. So now, I’m just making my final choice.”
What is your favorite soccer memory here and for your club team?
“For school, I have two memories. One’s more a team effort where we came back from the three goals down my freshman year, and then managed to win the game 4-3 somehow. And I got a hat-trick, so that was clean. The other one is scoring my first hat trick on varsity my sophomore season. For club, I would say the honor of being named team captain, because it’s such a big deal, especially with my coach. He’s just really intense. Being named captain, and having that responsibility for my choices, was really nice for me.”
What character traits or qualities that you have make you stand out as a person?
“I’m laughing, because all my teachers, especially, Mrs. Segal always told me that my charisma will get me very far, but it’s my hard work that will get me further. I took that to heart, and I think that is my thing. All my teachers and friends say that I’m always smiling. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, if I’m happy, if I’m sad. I like making other people smile. I like joking around. I think my biggest qualities are being charismatic and hardworking.”
What do you plan on like studying or doing in your future?
“I’m going into the business school in both schools. I’m deciding between Kelly for Indiana and Fisher for Ohio State, and right now, the plan is to major in finance, but that could change. That’s just my game. Right now, I’m figuring out where I want to go to college, as everything’s going to change. [My plan] just about adapting to the change and trying to succeed.”
What is one thing that you can take from Jesuit that you plan to apply in your future endeavors?
“Obviously, being a man for others is big thing here, like not being selfish, doing things for other people even when no one’s watching. Are they going the extra mile and doing stuff for other people? That one’s a big one for me. Also, again, with the time management stuff that goes here, there’s a lot of stuff to manage. School’s already hard enough as it is. So, adding on extracurricular activities, such as playing sports, playing an instrument, or being in the band makes things more difficult. You really have to time manage and the school really does teach you and prepare you well for all the stuff that you’re going to face, because you’re going to be busy in college. You’re going to be busy especially in life. The school has helped me prepare for those times of stress in my life.”
Stay tuned to The Roundup for more profiles on Jesuit student-athletes!