Athlete of the Week: Karson Vazquez, Horizon boy soccer

After leading Horizon to a 14-4-4 record last season, captain Karson Vazquez is ready to finish high school career on a high note

Thomas Lightbody | TK Photography
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The Horizon boys soccer player of the year in 2022-23, not only returns as the team’s most influential player but has the added responsibility of wearing the captain’s armband for the Hawks. 

So far in the 2023-24 season, Vazquez has managed to increase his offensive production, as well as continue to be the heart of the team’s midfield. He’s bagged five goals, the second-most on the team, and dished out 13 assists to his teammates in eight games. The ECNL Florida All-Conference First Team selection has all the tools to play at the next level but for now, he’s focused on continuing the Hawks’ (5-2-1) good early-season form. 

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Age: 17

Sport: Soccer

Grade: Senior

School: Horizon


How does it feel to be named Athlete of the Week? 

It feels great to know that my hard work is being recognized and that I get to represent my school. 

What do you like the most about playing soccer? 

I like the competitiveness of it and how rewarding it is to win. I also love the feeling of being part of not just a team but (also) a family.

What is your goal for this soccer season both for yourself and the team? 

My goal is that my team will take home the district championship for the second year in a row. For me, personally, I hope to find a school where I can compete at the collegiate level.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from soccer? 

I learned that you are always going to have ups and downs and face challenges. But if you stay persistent and keep working at it, you’ll overcome those challenges.

Who do you try to model your game after?

My dad. He has guided me through my whole soccer career, and I wouldn’t be the player I am today without him. 

Favorite soccer memory?

My favorite high school soccer memory would have to be winning districts last year. It was awesome being able to claim that title, with a school that has only been open for two years.

What’s your go-to pregame meal?

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

What is your go-to pregame hype song?

“Spin Bout U” by Drake.

What is your favorite subject in school?

Biology, as I hope to continue down this path in college and become a dentist.

What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island?

Water, to stay hydrated; my dog KC to keep me company; and a fishing pole to catch food. 

What is your favorite movie?

“Transformers.” I have loved that movie since I was a kid, and it brings me back to my childhood every time I watch it.

If you could have dinner with one person — dead or alive — who would it be?

My grandpa, because I always have a good laugh with him and love spending time with him.

If you could go back in time to a specific period in history, when and where would you go?

Probably the early 2000s, to see if everything my parents say about that time is true.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

Stay positive; everything will fall into place when the time comes.

If you could ask your future self a question, what would it be?

Would you change any of the important decisions I am making now?

Who is your favorite superhero?

My favorite superhero would have to be Captain America, because he is a good leader who always finds solutions.

Who is your favorite supervillain?

The Joker, because he is always one step ahead and has a plan for everything.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Be telepathic, so I know what my opponents are going to do and be one step ahead.

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be?

Penguin, so I would know what it is to be like my favorite animal. 

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Most definitely not.

Send Athlete of the Week nominations to Sam Albuquerque, Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @SamBAlbuquerque
Instagram: @OrangeObserverSam



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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