The city of Watsonville celebrated their Soccer Appreciation Night with Watsonville youth and Earthquakes' midfielder Rafa Baca on Tuesday. Baca joined youth soccer players and their families to talk healthy eating, education and soccer.
Over 200 Watsonville residents came out to Ramsey Park for the event. Baca spoke for over thirty minutes to the crowd, reiterating the importance of staying in school.
Baca, 23, moved from Mexico to the United States when he was in elementary school. Not knowing English before he moved, he faced adversity acclimating to his new home. With persistence, Baca overcame the language barrier and eventually graduated from Amino Leadership High School in Inglewood, California. He was awarded the school's top Student-Athlete award before attending Loyola Marymount University on full scholarship.
Baca told the story of his past to inspire the young athletes to stay dedicated to the game and school. It wasn't all talk, though. Baca led clinics with the youth soccer players. To end a great event, he signed autographs, took photos and was presented with a gift from the Watsonville community.
Look who made it out to the City of Watsonville Soccer Appreciation Day... None other than Quakes' Rafa Baca. twitter.com/SJEarthquakes/…— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) May 22, 2013