Prep boys soccer: Edgar Estrada offers quiet leadership
Taylorsville's Edgar Estrada just might be the most unassuming leader there is. Rather than boast about his soccer abilities or acumen in the classroom, the senior is humble about what he has been given.
Heck, you'd even have to pry out of him that he has earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Utah and is the editor of his school paper.
"He's someone who would do whatever you need," Taylorsville coach George Sirstins said. "He never wants to disappoint you. He's very quiet and humble. He just does his thing. He's an exceptional young man who is very coachable."
Estrada, 18, is an outside wing and forward for the Warriors, who are headed to the Class 5A state tournament. Taylorsville was in third place in the Region 2 standings (5-3-1) with one game remaining entering the week. A win over West and a Viewmont loss to Hunter would have forced a tie for second place in the standings.
Though he has scored only three goals this season, Estrada's impact isn't measured by scoring. His work ethic, along with his leadership abilities, has helped cement his place in the Warriors' starting lineup.
"I didn't play much last year, maybe 10 to 15 minutes a game, but I kept working hard and now I'm a starter," Estrada said. "I was on the bench watching the other varsity players, waiting for my turn. I think we're much better collectively this season. We have a much better chance of going further in state."
Estrada seems to fit perfectly Sirstins' leadership theme. The coach's vision was to build a team of leaders who would take younger players under their wing. The philosophy behind it was to lift the team's level of play.
"Edgar got injured earlier in the year, and I remember him sitting beside me telling the younger players 'I want you to try to take my spot,' " Sirstins said. "The concept of being a team leader is to influence the younger kids. He's one who became a leader quickly. He always puts the team first."
Estrada has scored goals this season against West Jordan, Olympus and Hunter and assisted on several others. He has been playing soccer for 11 years, beginning in youth leagues in Southern California.
"It's not really set plays that help you win games," Estrada said. "It's all in the moment, and it takes quick thinking. I have a good touch on the ball and know where to pass. I have pretty good placement and know where to shoot."
Problem is, sometimes Estrada can be too unselfish.
"He will pass the ball off before taking the shot," Sirstins said. "I'd like him to shoot more, but he sees the bigger picture. He's not concerned with how many goals he's scored. He's concerned with making the team better."
The multi-talented Estrada also is editor-in-chief of Taylorsville's monthly newspaper, The Warrior Ledger. The paper recently competed in a national event in San Francisco, earning ninth place for broadsheet 17 pages and larger. Estrada handles most of the design of the paper and manages the stories.
Through it all, he remains his humble self.
"There are no names on the back of our jerseys," Sirstins said. "It just says 'Taylorsville' on the front. It comes down to the quality of the individual, and Edgar represents Taylorsville very well."