Name: Oscar Pereira
Sport: Boys soccer
Athletic accomplishments: As of Thursday, Pereira had 14 goals and 11 assists to lead the Yellow Jackets in the regular season, which ended Thursday. Pereira and the No. 2 Yellow Jackets start play in the Section 1 tournament on Monday with a quarterfinal game against No. 10 Edgemont. He was named the Journal News player of the week last week. Pereira led Hastings to wins over Yorktown (last Thursday) and Bronxville (last Saturday).
Academic accomplishments: Pereira has an 85 percent average. He’s working toward an Advanced Regents diploma and scored 1,310 on the SATs. He’s going to play soccer at West Point next year. After school, Pereira is a member of the chess club. He’s helped his younger teammates improve their skills. In the community, as a member of the Albertson club team (based in Hempstead), he volunteers to coach younger players.
Getting to know Oscar Pereira
The Journal News: How’d it feel to be named our player of the week last week?
Oscar Pereira: It was really exciting. I’ve never won any awards prior to that. It’s really cool to get that.
TJN: How ready are you for the Section 1 tournament quarterfinals?
OP: I’m really excited, but, personally, I wanted to get going already. I wanted to keep our momentum going. Even though we have a gap till Monday, I think it’s a good thing to have a nice rest so we can prepare mentally and physically for this game. We haven’t had a chance to really do some fitness because we’ve had back-to-back games. Now we have a chance to get some running in so we can be fit for the game.
TJN: Will you play soccer at West Point?
OP: I was recruited there. The coach (Russell Payne) scouted me and liked me. He offered me a spot on the team. I’m excited to play on the team. This year on the Black Knights, there are five freshmen starting. He’s giving a chance to the new kids. He doesn’t base anything off of age but off of skill. I’m happy he’s giving the opportunity to younger kids.
TJN: Do you know what you want to study?
OP: I’m undecided but I will be taking some intro courses when I get there and see where that may take me. However, I’m probably going to end up majoring in science.
TJN: Did you always want to serve your country?
OP: Serving my country has been a top priority for me for most of my life. Growing up, you’re exposed to all these movies and TV shows about serving your country and then you look into it and see the pros and cons. This was always something in the back of my head, but the summer going into my junior year is when I really started to consider it because that was when I started getting looked at by West Point. I started to realize how good of an option that was.
TJN: Was there any member of the family you turned to to help with this decision?
OP: There’s no military background in my family but my father was always telling my brother he should consider West Point. It was something he never considered, but as my father did that for him, it made me consider it more and I was a freshman at the time. That opened up my eyes to what was available to me.
TJN: What was your experience like helping train the young kids in Hempstead through Albertson?
OP: It was a fun time. I got to spend time with my teammates and help these kids. It was an enjoyable way to do volunteer work. We helped kids from ages 6 to about 10 years old by assisting the kids with their skills and refereeing some games. It was a great experience for me and the kids seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically. Academic achievements, leadership, citizenship, and school and community activities are also factors. The winner is selected each week by a panel of athletic directors and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.