Rising Star: Ivan Quezada

WICHITA, Kan. East High School’s Ivan Quezada is a constant threat in front of the net.

This season, the Blue Aces’ forward has even more drive than ever before.

After losing his grandma two months ago, he’s dedicating this season to her.

“That’s the main thing I’ve been focusing on is trying to have a great season for her,” Ivan said. “I got this necklace for her and I just dedicate everything I do to her.”

The Blue Aces’ striker is one of the most dangerous players in the area, notching 15 goals his freshman year and 21 in his sophomore season. He’s just a few goals away from breaking the career goal record at East, and he still has nearly two full seasons left.

“I joke with people that if I put Ivan at center back he’d still find a way to the goal,” East High Head Coach Fred Koepp said.

Ivan started playing soccer when he was four.

“I started playing u6 and from there I just started falling in love with the game,” Ivan said.

His love for the game combined with his knack for finding the back of the net earned him an opportunity to play for FC Wichita in the Natioal Premier Soccer Leageue this summer. Training with division one players and former professionals gave him the chance to elevate his game.

“It drives me to do better for myself because once I saw how it is at the next level it just pushed me, it kept pushing me until I was already trying to be at their level,” Ivan said.

While being one of the only two high school kids on the entire FC Wichita roster could go to his head, it never has.

“It’s really cool to see him evolve as that leader as well as a player and I think that’s really hard to find in a player of his caliber,” Koepp said. “He’s not someone that’s going to rub his goals in his face, he’s just who he is and he just keeps playing. I think that’s really respectable."

Read the original version of this article at www.catchitkansas.com.