When Rochelle Township High School senior Alexis Quintanilla was 6 years old, he would watch his cousins play soccer every Saturday in Rockford. The interest in soccer prompted his father to sign him up for the sport, and as soon as he was placed on his first team, he was hooked.
Quintanilla went on to spent three years with the RTHS Hub soccer program, working his way up from the junior varsity team to earn the starting goalkeeper position as a senior. Quintanilla led the Hubs with 56 saves this past season, spearheading a defense that helped Rochelle finish 13-8 overall, third in the War on 34 and fourth in the Interstate 8 Conference.
“The RTHS soccer program taught me that I have to push myself beyond my limits,” Quintanilla said. “I have to push myself in everything I do if I want to be my best. I also learned that communication is important on and off the field. Regardless if we were winning or losing, we were all a family at the end of the day. During my time at RTHS, I feel that my confidence in the net improved, and I trusted myself to know that I could block every shot that came my way.”
Quintanilla, who plans to attend Kishwaukee College and study business, said his fondest memories with the RTHS soccer program were from his junior season, when the Hubs pulled together a historic campaign that including a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Championship, an IHSA 2A Regional Championship and the school’s first-ever sectional finals appearance.
“My favorite memories were winning the regional final, making the sectional finals and running on the track after school every day with the boys,” Quintanilla said. “I hope to find a career that makes me happy my whole life or be successful in something that makes me happy every day.”