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PREP SPOTLIGHT: Luis Cantera

091219-Luis Cantera

North Pitt soccer player Luis Cantera.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, September 12, 2019

North Pitt sophomore defender Luis Cantera can be heard from well off the pitch when the Panthers are in action, directing teammates and providing encouragement. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Cantera about leading his team and his history with the sport.

Q: You're a very vocal leader out on the pitch, directing the defense. What are some of the challenges in taking on that responsibility?

A: "Really I just look up and scan the field. If I see someone on the other team who is wide open I yell at my teammates to let them know to move over. I just try to make sure everything is covered."

Q: When you see a striker running toward you do you have a plan of how you're going to try to take the ball from them or is it all instinct?

A: "While he's coming at me I'm trying to think if they'll switch from his left to his right foot, and if he does I have to get in position to attack the other side and force him to his weak foot. From there that's when I'll go after the ball."

Q: How long have you been playing soccer and what originally attracted you to the sport?

A: "I've been playing since I was three. It was my brother (Marcus) who got me into the sport, he used to play for PGSA (Pitt-Greenville Soccer Association). I tried every sport to see what I liked most, and in the end it was soccer that came to me most, so I wanted to follow in his steps."

Q: Who is your favorite professional soccer player and why?

A: "It's (Lionel) Messi no doubt. He's a playmaker, and I try to be a playmaker too."

Q: What are some of your personal goals for the season?

A: "I want to help lead my team to a conference title. From there we want to make a run at states and I don't want to let anybody get by me for a goal."

Q: What advice would you give to a younger player looking to improve their defensive skills?

A: "I'd tell them that you have to be able to shuffle from side to side. Keep your mind up in the air and stay positive with your teammates, if you don't you'll end up brining the whole team down."

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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