After watching goalkeepers flying through the air and diving to make saves during the 2014 World Cup, Gabriel Herrera knew he wanted to start playing soccer and become a goalkeeper. With a strong work ethic, Herrera climbed through the ranks at Palmer Trinity, starting at the MSJV level and working his way through MS Varsity and Upper School JV before taking the reigns backstopping the Falcons’ Varsity team. Through it all, Herrera still finds flying through the air and diving to make a save his favorite part of playing goalkeeper.
Under new Varsity Head Coach Abiodun Adeyemi, Herrera states that he has continued a fantastic experience in the soccer program. This year, with a new playing style, Herrera utilizes foot skills more than ever before and is enjoying staying involved in the game on the attacking side. Coach Adeyemi praises Herrera for his passion and leadership. “Gabe is a true reflection of leading by example. His performance speaks for itself and inspires the team”.
However, entering his senior year, Herrera found himself on the field in a sport he never imagined playing – football. Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Eric Perri suggested Herrera learn to kick for football after coaching him in soccer and noticing his strengths. After a successful football campaign which saw Herrera win the starting job as kicker and punter, Herrera is appreciative of the lessons learned in this new sport. “Kicking in football has taught me a new sense of focus. I learned to ignore all others around me because the slightest distraction can set me off. I have applied this lesson to soccer and it has helped me overcome nervousness”.
Thinking back on his time spent as a Falcon, stopping penalty kicks in soccer and his 42-yard field goal in the Battle of the Oar game are among his favorite memories.
Outside of school, Herrera enjoys hanging out with friends and working out. He spends a lot of free time volunteering, notably with Shake-A-Leg Miami and Breakthrough Miami.
Herrera lists his favorite movie as Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, favorite artist as J. Cole and Chicken Parmesan as his favorite food, though he notes he is currently learning how to cook. Herrera plans to enroll at Wake Forest on a Pre-Med track.
Be sure to come out and support Gabriel and the rest of the Varsity Boys Soccer team when they return from winter break and gear up for a playoff run!