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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Sophomore soccer player takes talent to national level

Sophomore+soccer+player+takes+talent+to+national+level

By Mac Paquette | Sports writer

Junior Alexa Ledesma may seem like the average student athlete at Johnson high school, but that’s far from the truth. Alexa is on the Mexican women’s national U-17 soccer team.  As well as playing soccer, she has to manage school with traveling and training for the Mexican team.

“I didn’t like soccer when I first started, I hated it, but I knew that I needed to get the exercise,” Ledesma said.

Alexa Ledesma plays for the U-17 Mexican national team.

She didn’t start enjoying playing soccer until after her first year.

“I always disliked going to practice, but once I had a year of experience, I started to enjoy going, and complaining about it less,” she said.

Ledesma has to adjust to the diverse playing styles between USA soccer and Mexican soccer.

“The soccer has its differences.  There is more conditioning here at Johnson, it’s more physical, and the weather is more humid,” Ledesma said.

Time management is a critical skill that she uses to balance out all her work while playing soccer.

“I have to do all my work in class, and sometimes when I work out I’ll have my work next to me to study,” Ledesma said.

The cultural differences have been the main point of adjustment for her.  While picking up the language was easy since Ledesma knew how to speak English as a young child, things like food, conversations, and humor are different.

Ledesma with a fellow Mexican National team player.

“The food is different, the way people interact with their friends is different, and there is a different sense of humor, speaking English is not difficult, I’m just working on getting rid of my accent,” Ledesma said.

It also took a while for Alexa to realize what level she was able to compete at.  She didn’t think much of her playing ability until she got called for the state team.

“When I got called for the state team in Mexico, that is when I started noticing my skills,” Ledesma said.

Alexa is thankful towards the coaches here at Johnson, crediting them with helping her play at her best and keeping her in shape during the off season.

“The coaches here are really nice, understanding, and helpful,” Ledesma said.

International competition has been very competitive.  Her team has played three exhibition games, one against the Canada U-17 team, and the other two against local Mexican teams.  Competing internationally is also fun, she gets to meet and interact with people from different countries.

“Meeting players from different countries is neat and being able to represent the country is a great feeling,” Ledesma said.

The amount of traveling the Ledesma family has done since she was invited to the U-17 team has affected the whole family in some ways.

“The traveling is tough sometimes, we have to spend lots of time away from each other,” younger brother Juan Ledesma said.

Injuries are almost inevitable, she was injured this past year while playing soccer, tearing both of her ACL’s, and ruptured her meniscus in her right knee.

“I had surgery on my knees in June; I plan on making a full recovery,” Ledesma said.

So far, soccer has been a major part in her life, and hopes it will continue to be.

“Once I come back from surgery, I’ll play for the Mexican women’s national U-20 team, then go to college and play,” Ledesma said.

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Sophomore soccer player takes talent to national level