DONNA — During his four years playing varsity soccer for Donna North, Arturo Gonzalez quickly grew into the Chiefs’ go-to guy.
A versatile puzzle piece who played the midfield and forward positions, Gonzalez’s ability to do it all helped lead a young Donna North boys soccer program to district glory.
Whether it was setting up a teammate to score, being on the receiving end of a pass and putting the ball in the back of the net himself, or drilling a free kick from distance, Gonzalez proved to be one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top players by leading his Chiefs to back-to-back District 31-6A championships, adding some hardware to the Donna North athletics trophy case.
After an outstanding senior season, Gonzalez is The Monitor’s 2020 All-Area Boys Soccer Offensive Player of the Year.
“It means a lot to win this; it feels great. What I want to do is represent Donna North as much as I could,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and the Donna North soccer team did precisely that in representing their school well. A four-year letterman, Gonzalez was determined give his senior year everything he had.
“It was my senior year and I wanted to go out on top. If we didn’t win, leave everything on the field, that was my mentality,” he said. “If the other team is better than you, what can you do about it, as long as you gave it your best, that’s what matters.”
A team captain, Gonzalez often shouldered the load and helped guide his teammates on and off the field.
“As a captain, I’m always trying to lift my teammates up,” he said.
During their years playing side by side, Donna North built a bond and understanding of one another often unmatched by their opposition.
“It was a really fun year because we always try to help each other out. We have the confidence to tell each other what we’re doing wrong, and we don’t take it wrong; we listen and figure out how to do things better the next time,” Gonzalez said. “That’s what was key for us, that confidence in our team and in each other.”
This season, Gonzalez scored 20 goals, dished out 11 assists and led the Donna North Chiefs to a 22-5-3 overall record and the District 31-6A championship with an 8-3 mark in district competition.
But Gonzalez was special when attempting free kicks. His methodical approach resulted in a number of successful conversions for Donna North throughout his four years on varsity.
“I take a couple steps from the ball, take my time and focus, look at the ball and goal keeper and try to put it where he can’t get to. That’s what’s going through my mind,” he said. “I have confidence because I have to lead as an example for our team and underclassmen. I don’t really get nervous; I have to step up.”
With his high school career wrapped up, Gonzalez said he’s most proud of helping lead a 7-year-old Donna North soccer program to back-to-back district titles.
“It meant a lot because this year was just the second district title we won. We hadn’t really won much, so to win that my junior and senior years, it was great,” he said.