Hispanic athlete shows cultural pride


Becca Romo/The Runner

Carlos Armendariz, sophomore midfielder, poses with soccer ball near the main soccer field.

Becca Romo and Elisa Fuentes, Sport Editor and Sports Reporter

By Becca Romo and Elisa Fuentes

Sports Editor and Sports Reporter


With Hispanic Heritage Month underway, the captain of CSU Bakersfield men’s soccer team is “orgullo Mexicano,” or proud to be Mexican.

Carlos Armendariz is Mexican-American and his parents are from Guadalajara, Mexico. He is not only proud to be Mexican, but proud to be a Mexican athlete; being Mexican just emphasizes it.

Armendariz remembers playing soccer at a young age. His earliest memory is starting his love for soccer at four years old. He knows that the people of Mexico have a huge love for the sport, and it excites him that he has the privilege to play and represent his Mexican heritage.

“Soccer in Mexico is a big thing, and to be able to play the sport that my country loves is big for me,” Armendariz said.

He fell in love with soccer because of his family and having grown up around it. Armendariz has a background of family members back home who have played professionally and have represented their country in the World Cup who motivate him to keep trying.

“It’s hard for me to try and keep up with them, but it motivates me to try and keep up with that so one day I can represent my country,” Carlos said.

Armendariz said that he owes a lot of his success to his parents for all their support over the last 15 years playing soccer. “I have a picture of them in my locker. Every time I open it up, it motivates me to go out and play.”

Family is very important to Armendariz, which is common in Hispanic culture. Having support from his family motivates Armendariz to continue to playing the sport he loves.

“He’s got a wonderful passion for his family, our program, and the sport that he plays,” men’s soccer head coach Richie Grant said.

Growing up in a community and family where soccer was prevalent, Armendariz mentioned that it is nice to have those athletes to look up to.

“It inspired me, for sure. And in a Division-I college, I think all of our goal is to be professional, and that is one I have had since a little kid. To be on the big stage,” said Armendariz.

As for being a Hispanic athlete who children can look up to, Armendariz said, “It’s awesome.”

“He has shown great maturity… he is a real leader for us off the field,” said Grant. “You can just tell that it was something that he loved doing and that he was good at.”

Not only does Armendariz inspire children, but he inspires his teammates every day as team captain. “But on the field his performances have been kind of inspiring for the rest of the group,” said Grant.

Armendariz strives to play professional soccer after graduating from CSUB. He said his dream team to play on C.D. Guadalajara, also known as Chivas, in Guadalajara. “Carlos is going to be a big success no matter what endeavor he takes on after college,” said Grant.