Hartnell’s men’s soccer is arguably one of the CCAA’s most dominant strengths. The Panthers played their way to a 20-2-3 record and a place in the State Championship game.
Despite losing the championship game, the men’s team delivered a dominant performance throughout the final state tournament.
One of the keys to the Panthers’ success has been forward Anthony Rangel.
The 22-year-old from King City earned Athlete of the Week status thanks to his performance at the CCCAA State Tournament. His energy up front and ability to create chances were essential for the high-scoring Panthers. He scored in both semi-final and state final games.
âHe’s got pace,â Panthers head coach Daniel Ortega said. âHe puts enormous pressure on the opposing defense. ”
Rangel loves football, but he says it comes with a range of emotions.
âI don’t like the pressure at the start,â he said. “But when you find that pivotal moment for your team, it’s pure joy.”
Since the age of 3 Rangel has enjoyed playing the beautiful game. He grew up watching his father play football and fell in love with the sport.
He’s been a forward most of his life, he says, and although he’s played on various teams, the 2021 Panthers are his favorite.
âThis year has been a great experience,â Rangel said. âI feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. We went all the way.
One of the key characteristics of a top player is the way they handle a big loss.
“The fact that the final game didn’t go our way is killing me,” Rangel said. âIt’s a big step forward, but that’s how you grow. ”
Rangel’s hard work earned him US NJCAA Division III honors as well as forward of the year. This is no surprise for a player with 16 goals and five assists this year.
“It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m a great player,” Rangel said of the honors. “The fact that someone is able to see something that you don’t see in yourself.”
Growth is something Rangel has always pursued and encouraged in others. At Hartnell, he is studying criminal justice and hopes to become a probation officer.
âGrowing up, I saw a lot of people become delinquents,â he said. “I want to show children that there is always time to change for the better.”
He plans to attend several public schools in 2022, but has yet to embark on a program.
Outside of football Rangel enjoys spending time with his family. He has an older brother who also enjoys playing club football and a one-year-old brother. His younger brother loves to play football with Rangel.
âWhen I see him kick the ball, it brings me joy,â Rangel said.
Perhaps the best part about Rangel is his dissatisfaction with the current success.
âIt’s great to look back on what I’ve accomplished this year,â he said. “But I saw that I was the all-American second team and not the first team. It kindled me to work on my football.”