Keaton Playing for a Purpose

Isaac Gomez, Sports Editor

Keaton Woods ‘19 has had the opportunity not many other people get in their lives. This past fall, Woods attended Real Salt Lake Academy in Utah. The academy prides itself on their one of a kind soccer program that hosts some of the best soccer players in the nation.
Woods was given the opportunity to attend their school because of a past tournament he participated in. At the tournament he was scouted by their coaches, and after that, they reached out to him.
The decision to attend school in Utah during his senior year was a hard to choice, but ultimately a choice that had to be made if he wants to play soccer professionally, like he intends. “My ultimate goal is to play in the World Cup for the USA,” said Woods.
“The competition is a lot different because of how talented some of the players are. It’s amazing what they can do with a ball,” said Woods.
With that goal in mind, comes the doubters but Woods is able to focus on his career and being the best player he can be. “Knowing that people doubt me and even more so that people believe in me, makes me want to be the best I can,” says Woods “I have an amazing support group who has been there for this whole journey. So, I’m doing it for everyone who’s helped me.”
When it comes to a decision like that, sacrifices will have to be made. For student athletes with those kind of opportunities, it can be hard to comprehend that these are just kids and not the professionals who are away from home every single day. “It was extremely hard to be away from everyone for senior year, which strongly influenced into deciding to come back home for the second semester,” commented Woods.
Wood has always had that special connection to soccer since he could first remember, and that has always stuck with him throughout his playing years. “Soccer was always easy to play. All you needed was a ball and you could literally play anywhere. Its had a special place in my heart since the first time I ever kicked it.”
He will continue to work hard to pursue his professional career as he focuses on the upcoming season for the men’s varsity soccer team.