Boys Soccer: Plainfield South’s Bautista looks to end senior season on high note
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media October 16, 2013 10:55PM
Plainfield South's Cesar Bautista (right) celebrates a goal. | File photo
Updated: November 18, 2013 7:59AM
With Plainfield South competing in a tough Metea Valley Sectional, Cougars senior Cesar Bautista knows his team has its work cut out when the postseason begins next week.
Bautista, though, is focused on one thing: leaving it all on the field before his high school career ends.
“I’ve been working as hard as I can lately,” he said. “It’s my senior year and I want to go out with a bang. I want to know that no matter what happens, I can look back at it and know that at least I tried to do my best.
“I want my team to be satisfied, too. I want all my teammates to feel good about themselves, knowing they did their best.”
Bautista has scored a team-high 10 goals for the Cougars (5-11-3), who close the regular season Thursday against Plainfield Central.
He attributes at least some of his success to his risk-taking nature.
“I’m daring,” he said. “I like to challenge a lot of things. If it’s a 2 vs. 1 situation, I’ll go for it. If it’s a long pass or a long shot, I’ll try it. I don’t give up and I don’t stop because I know I need to play my best to be happy.”
Bautista has played soccer for more than a decade.
“I started out in rec leagues and my parents saw I was pretty good and put me in club ball,” he said. “Since then, I’ve just gotten better year after year.”
He’s hoping to get an opportunity to continue to play in college.
“Financially, I’d love some help from soccer,” he said. “I’m very focused on both ends, school and soccer. I never put one over the other. I definitely take both very seriously.”
That balance between academics and sports isn’t always easy.
“I’m taking some honors classes and it’s kind of tough sometimes,” he said. “You come home after school and soccer and you’re tired and have to study. You really have to push yourself. At first it’s hard, but you get good at it. It’s definitely worth it.”
Bautista is very proud of his role as a captain this season.
“It’s a great honor,” he said. “This team is like my second family and it feels great to be one of the leaders of the family. It feels good to be respected.”
Bautista said his favorite thing about soccer is “how beautiful the game is.”
“It’s not just about skill,” he said. “It’s a mental game and a lot of it comes down to chemistry and the relationships you have with your teammates. I like scoring, of course, but I also like the connections you make with people.”