Big fish, Big pond: Seth Ochoa

Junior Seth Ochoa can either be found throwing passes on the football field or studying and getting school work done. For many students, the thought of being on the varsity football team while maintaining grades, and still being open-minded about everything high school has to offer, is a distant dream. For Ochoa, the grind never stops.

Head football coach Julio Lopez said that he recognized Ochoa's talent at first glance.

"When I saw Ochoa play football his eight grade year, I immediately knew that he was the missing puzzle piece," Lopez said. "I cannot believe the improvement he has made from the first time I saw him play. He has always wanted to be the best out there and so now he's working to get to that level, which is super unusual--to have someone work that hard and be that dedicated."

Making the team has not lessened Ochoa's work ethic by any means. He still continues his training as a member of the varsity baseball team. Ochoa has verbally committed to Texas Tech University to play baseball and study engineering.

"I would love to become a petroleum engineer," Ochoa said. "I want to play the game I love, but I would also still love to have a successful career outside of sports. As of right now, I'm keeping up my grades and discovering what I'd like to do."

Having played baseball since the age of four, Ochoa has had plenty of practice at balancing school work and athletics. He said that he does so hrouh sheer resolve.

"It's a matter of determination and putting school first," Seth said. "Every little bit of time I have to myself during school I use to finish work or study for upcoming tests or quizzes."

Junior Andrew Chavez said that he valus Seth's attention to team work and self-improvement.

"Seth is very outgoing when it comes to being on a team, hes not afraid to make new teammates," Chavez said. "He's smart and listens to criticism and uses it to get better without getting his feelings hurt both on and off the field."

Principal Armienia Smith said that she is impressed by Seth's ambition.

"He always seems to find a way to manage on making the impossible possible," Smith said.

Ochoa has had a difficult year in terms of his athletics, sustaining an injury during football season. He said that despite any obstacles he may have faced, he is glad to have learned new lessons.

"This football season was a devastating year for me, I went down at the Odessa Permian game and later discovered I had torn my ACL," Ochoa said. "It was just another bump in the road. I thought I was gonna be okay and would be fine to play again the following Friday, but unfortunately I couldn't. Everything happens for a reason. My injury has helped me gain confidence and realize that sports shouldn't and can't be taken for granted because they can be taken away from you in a split second."

Ochoa hopes to come bback better than ever to finish his senior year on great terms.

"As of right now, I'm most proud of having a successful recovery and being able to play again; the one thing I have my mind on is being able to have a breakout season next year."