To perform well in both athletics and academics is a very admirable goal, and one that is not easy to achieve.
But two students at Fontana A.B. Miller High School have shown exactly how to get it done, and as a result, they are both heading to UCLA on soccer scholarships.
Joab Santoyo and Christian Chavez, both 17, recently signed letters of intent to play for the Bruins this fall, and in the meantime, they will be concentrating on their studies at Miller — and polishing their soccer skills for Southern California-based teams.
Santoyo is a center midfielder for the Arsenal FC Academy's U-18 team, while Chavez is a forward for the LA Galaxy U-18 Youth Academy (where he is coached by former Major League Soccer superstar Ante Razov, a Fontana High School graduate).
"I visited the UCLA campus, and the coaches were very friendly; it's a great environment," Santoyo said. "I believe it's one of the best programs in the nation."
Chavez was also quite enthusiastic. "It's amazing to have an opportunity like this," he said.
The two friends, both of whom have enjoyed soccer since they were four years old, previously participated on Miller's soccer squad before joining their respective academy teams.
"We've always played against each other," Santoyo said, "and now it will be good to go play on the same team (at UCLA)."
Santoyo, who will be majoring in engineering, has a 4.5 grade point average and is one of the top students in his class at Miller. He said that staying mentally alert is a big part of succeeding in soccer.
"You can use your knowledge to read the game and understand certain things," he said.
Chavez, who has a 3.0 GPA and is planning to major in journalism, will be the second member of his family to play for UCLA's soccer team.
His older brother Victor Chavez, who graduated from Miller in 2010, was an All-Pac 12 player all four years for the Bruins. Last month, Victor was chosen by the Portland Timbers in the fourth round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
"Seeing everything that he has done, I want to follow in his footsteps," said Christian Chavez.