Horizon High School boys volleyball team senior setter Santiago Izaguirre — who also is part of the Orlando Gold club team — currently has five kills, 86 digs and 249 assists. Izaguirre will attend Emmanuel College in Georgia this fall, where he will further his academic and athletic careers.
Talk to us about your years as a volleyball player.
I started playing my freshman year. … I didn’t think I was going to like it, and I just did it for fun. But then after my first high school tryout, I just loved the sport.
What do you love most about volleyball as a sport?
Just how fast-paced it is. … You are always moving, and it’s a fast and kind of an older game of keep up. You just have to work on moving that ball, how hard the hits are, digging the hits. It’s a fun game.
Did you play other positions before playing setter?
I started as a libero in the beginning, because I was also smaller. And then sophomore year, I started setting — joking around in one practice — and I liked doing it.
Is setter your favorite position to play? Why?
The setter is kind of the quarterback for volleyball, because the setter is controlling the game. If you don’t have a pass, you don’t have a set. If you don’t have a set, you don’t have a hit, and then you can’t score points. So setting is that one position that is the least known, because no one sees what setting really is, but it’s definitely one of the most important positions. It’s nice to feel that sense of importance.
What do you believe volleyball has taught you outside of the court?
A lot of leadership traits, because I’ve been lucky enough to be captain of a few teams I’ve been on. And it definitely is harder, because you and the coach have a different type of relationship — from coach to captain — so portraying that to the team coming from the coach is hard to keep going through it but you just find a way.
Do you have a favorite drill to do at practice?
Neville’s pepper. It’s like hitting lines where it’s just the open net, and then all the hitters are hitting, and there are just three players playing defense, and you have to see who gets the most balls up. It’s just a fun drill to warm up.
How do you believe you instill leadership in your team?
I try to always bring my teammates up. Sometimes, I’ll stay around for JV practice and help out with the team. … So just staying with the team, making sure I’m always looking out for the team and my teammates’ needs.
What do you love most about your team?
We connect well together. My best friend is on the team, Nelson Castellanos. We’ve been playing since freshman year, we’ve gone through every club together, and I feel like he and I share our jokes and messing around that we do with each other with the team, and it’s just a nice family.
What will you miss most about playing with your team?
I think the change from last year to what the team is now it’s been (huge). … We beat top teams we never thought we’d beat. So, I guess how everything switched and we just became a solid team.
Do you know what you want to study in college?
I’m majoring in kinesiology. I either want to be a chiropractor or open up my own practice. Or maybe if it goes well, be a sports medicine physician.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Boxing. … It’s a fun thing to do, beach volleyball and hanging out with friends.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Spider-man, he can go anywhere, swing around — since I was a gymnast, I like flips.
What are three places you’d like to visit? Why?
The Bahamas; it looks like a cool place to visit. Hawaii — I want to see the black sand beaches. And then I want to go back to Venezuela again. I want to visit (and) see family.
If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be?
Maybe seeing when Jesus rose from the tomb.
What color would you say represents your personality?
Red, I feel like I wear a lot of red. … It’s a bright vibrant color.
If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be?
A lion. It’s my favorite animal and the king of the jungle.