The Lakewood High School boys soccer team hasn’t had a lot of success in recent years. But the program is slowly turning things around, thanks to a culture change around the team, and recent graduate Juan Corrales was a central figure in that shift. The central midfielder was a captain as a junior, and he was set to reprise that role as a senior when the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of spring sports.
But Corrales’ involvement at Lakewood stretched beyond the soccer field. When he wasn’t booting the ball around he was playing guitar in the school’s jazz band and singing bass in its jazz choir.
In the final installment of the spring sports senior salute, The Herald spoke to Corrales about his time as part of the Lakewood boys soccer team, as well as his pursuit of music:
What kind of season did you think Lakewood was going to have this year?
Definitely better than last year, which was better than Lakewood has ever done. I think over my four years with the program you’ve seen Lakewood go from a pretty poor place to somewhat better. I’m pretty sure next year will be an improvement because before coach (Nick) Anderson showed up there wasn’t really a lot of support for the Lakewood soccer team and there weren’t a lot of results that came from the team. I think we definitely had a better shot than last year.
What were you looking forward to most this season?
I just wanted to enjoy my last year with the team. The program has helped me with a lot of things. It’s helped me with my work ethic and it’s helped with perspective on a lot of things. Lakewood boys soccer didn’t always do so well. But even when we lost many games, I always felt great leaving the field as long as I knew I left everything on the field. I just wanted to go for another season, run some more with the team and make more memories. I don’t think I left a game or practice without a smile, I always left better than before that.
I’m told you earned a chair playing guitar in the school’s jazz band. Tell me about that.
I only joined jazz band and jazz choir my senior year. It had always interested me, but I thought I lacked the classical training I needed to join and start learning. I’ve never had private lessons, so I guess I waited until I had the confidence to join. As soon as I was there I felt great, but I also regretted spending so much time on my own. I think I would have advanced more if I spent more time with the band than just half a year.
When did you start playing guitar?
I started playing around my freshman year. As soon as I learned one song I wanted to learn another and it became addicting. It became a part of my life, I was spending so much time listening and learning. Even though I only spent a half year with the band, I would probably say music was more of my place than soccer was.
I’m planning on going to Western Washington University in the fall and I’m looking into computer science, but that may be more of a safety net at the moment while I delve deeper into music.
What was that first song you learned?
‘Telescope,’ by Cage the Elephant.