Sultan soccer player Diego Hernandez was set to be the team’s lone returning captain before the season was called off due to the pandemic. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Sultan soccer player Diego Hernandez was set to be the team’s lone returning captain before the season was called off due to the pandemic. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

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Sultan boys soccer player Diego Hernandez

The senior forward plans to get a fire science degree and become a firefighter.

Diego Hernandez was ready to fulfill his role as a leader for the Sultan High School boys soccer this season.

Hernandez, a senior forward, was slated to be the only returning captain from last season’s squad, according to the Turks’ 2019 roster. And he was hoping to lead his squad to a successful season in the final year of the short-lived, six-team North Sound Conference before Sultan joins the Emerald Sound Conference this fall.

“I was just ready to lead the team this year,” Hernandez said. “I was excited about our team that we have. It was going to be great.”

We spoke with Hernandez about his time playing soccer and future plans of becoming a firefighter as part of our series spotlighting spring sports senior athletes:

How did you get into playing soccer?

When I first started playing I was probably about 5 (years old), but then after like a year of playing soccer I stopped and picked it back up when I was 14. I got reintroduced to it by a friend. He invited me to play with his team in Snohomish. So that’s basically how my love for soccer began again. When I was younger I used to play it because my dad introduced it to me. After a while, he wasn’t in my life as much. So that’s why I lost it for a little bit. … I love the sport.

Do you have any memories from high school soccer that stick out above others?

Just how close it brings us together. Honestly, just school sports — like soccer especially for me because that’s what I did — bring people together like a family because we’re out there together, we’re all trying to get better and we all have that sense of what’s good for each other. We’re a family and it’s just really great. It’s a good feeling.

What are your plans for after high school?

For a long time I thought I was going to play soccer post-high school, but plans have changed. Now I plan on getting a fire science degree and becoming a firefighter.

What made you become interested in being a firefighter?

My dad. He was my motivation for that. Whenever I’m with him, he always tries helping people and he always has a smile. That’s what I like doing. I want to help people.

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