The sport of soccer doesn’t technically have a point-guard, but Argos’ Chino Roque may get the conversation started.
The Dragons outstanding senior forward leads the team in goals with 21 on the season, but it’s another stat that he is most proud of — assists.
“When I get the ball on my feet I try to attack with a lot of pace and if my player is open I’m going to get him the ball right away so they have a better opportunity to score,” he said. “I’m a pass-first player. I love assisting my teammates and helping them out. If they need me to score I’m going to score for them. My teammates push me to be the best.”
“Chino is a very flamboyant player,” said coach Todd VanDerWeele. “He’s a guy that everybody is going to look at when he has the ball. He comes up with moves. He’s got that capability, but he’s just as comfortable — probably more comfortable — when he’s serving up his teammates. I think he’d rather slot the ball in to Ted (Redinger) to punch in, or to Owen (Nifong), whoever is on the end of that ball.”
And while Roque and his vast skills with the ball get a lot of attention, the thing that he and his teammates credit for their success is togetherness. It’s something that started a long time ago.
“We went out on the rec team a long time ago and when we started out everybody on this team was on that team,” he said. “We just grew up playing. We all grew up together, played every sport together. It started really young.”
Of course, the reward back in rec soccer was a little different than it will be Saturday if the Dragons can come away a victor.
“I just showed up for the juice box,” Roque said with a laugh. “There is a video out on Facebook right now and that is all of us on the kindergarten team. You can see us all just standing and looking around, picking at the grass and stuff like that.”
“That was the point of soccer back then,” he said. “It was fun being around your friends and stuff.”
As his skill level increased the level of the reward also increased. Chino was able to do something that not a lot of players in a very competitive program get to do, even in a small school like Argos.
“My freshman year I made varsity,” he said. “I worked pretty hard for it and Coach (Todd VanDerWeele) gave me the opportunity that I was blessed with. There were really good players in front of me and I just had to work that hard. There is a lot of competition.”
Four years later Chino has had some great moments with his teammates and really with the entire tradition of soccer in his hometown.
“It’s Argos. It’s all we have,” he said smiling. “It’s what people know. It feels great to be a part of that. People expect the best out of you. And that’s really all we want to give. Everybody, the fans, guys who’ve played, who are playing college now, they expect the best and that’s what we want to give them.”
“We’re doing it for them.”
“I hope the whole town comes (to the Friday final). We need their support there.”
It’s that feeling of family that Roque and his teammates all think is the secret to their run.
“Family,” said Chino. “We all push each other. We all grew up together so we are all close. My freshman year we were in the semi-state and they were close, but I feel like this team is even closer than they were.”
“We are doing it for the people of Argos,” he said. “It’s part of the culture here. We want to make the town proud.”