PORTSMOUTH — Perspective and a positive attitude are very important qualities to maintain in life.
Shawnee State sophomore Victor Aguilera has certainly kept those at the forefront.
They’ve arguably helped make him into a better student-athlete as a result.
The sophomore-to-be from Rock Hill High School, by way of Honduras, is one of the area’s most well-respected student-athletes — both for his grace on the field and his class off of it.
His motivation in both areas comes from a family that has been there with him at every turn, as well as his coaches and teammates — who have served as leaders and strong figures for Aguilera.
“Being a student-athlete, to me, means to be a leader on the field and in the classroom, and to be an example that others should follow,” Aguilera said. “This is a challenge to me as I try to keep good grades and improve my soccer skills. Prioritizing and managing time are key to being a good student-athlete, and I believe that it builds character. Giving my maximum effort on both is necessary in order to have good success.”
Aguilera, who originally moved from Honduras as a fifth-grader, didn’t have it easy when the future soccer standout moved to the United States.
Throughout his first year in school, he had to receive tutoring to help with his classwork as he attempted to pick up the English language.
“It was very hard,” Aguilera said. “It was kind of stressful not being able to communicate with classmates very well.”
However, Aguilera proved to be a fast-learner in multiple facets.
Personally, Aguilera mastered the native tongue in less than a year’s time, and during his high school days, worked to become a member of Rock Hill’s National Honor Society — all while overseeing the school’s blood drives that were sponsored by the American Red Cross.
As an athlete, his hard work in several different disciplines at Rock Hill soon resulted in him arguably being not only the best student-athlete at his class or school, but as one of the best to ever come out of Redmen Country.
After successfully fighting for the start of soccer at Rock Hill, Aguilera proceeded to lead the Redmen to new heights.
A co-ed program when it first started, Rock Hill finished 5-11-1 in its first-ever season — an impressive showing for a first-year program — as Aguilera scored an incredible 38 of the team’s 49 goals.
With the school adding a girls program to go alongside the boys program the following year, the presence of soccer proved to be growing in Pedro — as evidenced by Rock Hill’s success as a boys program over the following pair of seasons.
Aguilera scored 42 goals and posted five assists in his junior season, then sacrificed his numbers as a senior in a more well-rounded team effort, posting 29 goals and five assists in his final campaign.
In both years, the Redmen went 14-2-2 and won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships.
During his three-year career at Rock Hill, Aguilera ultimately amassed 110 goals, 12 assists and an astounding 232 points — putting the entire area and the state of Ohio on notice as to the type of talent that he was, as evidenced by his three-time first-team all-OVC, three-time first-team all-Southeast District and two-time all-Ohio honors.
He capped off his soccer career in 2018 by taking home first-team all-Ohio honors after earning second-team all-Ohio accolades as a junior in 2017.
“We worked hard throughout the summer because our goal was an OVC championship,” Aguilera said. “It took everyone giving their best and showing up to practices early in the morning. The journey was not easy, but it was enjoyable seeing great results at the end.”
However, Aguilera wasn’t just a strong soccer talent.
Along with his brother Jasson, who played alongside Victor in soccer, the Aguileras helped Rock Hill claim four consecutive OVC Cross Country championships for the Redmen from 2015 to 2018 — with Jasson adding in a fifth title this past fall in 2019.
In track, Aguilera won an astounding 16 races between the 800-meter run and the 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 meter relays — all while qualifying for OHSAA Division II regional competition in the 4-by-800 in three consecutive seasons to end his career alongside Jasson, Gabe Baker, Eli Kidd, Noah Wood, Cameron Barnette and current Shawnee State cross country and track and field student-athlete Ethan Miller.
To boot, Aguilera even picked up football for a season, serving as the team’s ace in the hole on special teams.
His strong leg proved to be of great benefit to the Redmen, as a preseason 67-yard punt during a trial run showed.
“Getting to know my teammates, coaches, teachers and classmates was amazing,” Aguilera said. “I had the privilege to have great staffs and friends, both on the field and in the classroom. I always felt welcomed at Rock Hill.”
Aguilera’s hard work, his speed and his strong leg wasn’t lost on Ron Goodson and Shawnee State men’s soccer program.
The Bears quickly made Aguilera a primary recruiting priority, ultimately landing the multi-sport talent and keeping him close to his high-school roots.
“I was very nervous when I first met the coaching staff, but it only took me a couple of days to feel comfortable talking and being around them,” Aguilera said. “They are very nice and encouraging.”
At Shawnee State, Aguilera mainly came off of the bench in his first season — but saw plenty of action even in a reserve role, seeing time in 13 of the Bears’ 19 contests while transitioning to the speed of the game of soccer at the collegiate level.
“Being a part of the soccer program at Shawnee State has been a learning experience,” Aguilera said. “It’s been fun getting to meet new players from different nationalities. The transition has been challenging as the level of the game has increased. Soccer at the college level is very competitive, and I know what areas I need to work on in order to improve.”
Academically, Aguilera’s hard work has put the sophomore in very good shape following his freshman year.
He already has earned nearly 35 hours of academic credit while maintaining a sharp 3.74 GPA as an exercise science major.
He wants to continue to set a good example both inside and outside of the classroom, while continuing to develop his soccer skills in order to make the type of impact that he wants to make with the Bears.
“On a personal level, I want to improve my skills and become a better player,” Aguilera said. “This way, I can become a starter inside the program. Most importantly, however, I want to make a difference by being a good example. Team-wise, I want to win a conference title and move on to nationals.”
It’s already clear, however, that Victor Aguilera is living a full life — because he’s worked hard for everything he’s earned.
That work ethic, Aguilera says, is something that he completely credits his family for instilling in him.
“My family, after God, means everything,” Aguilera said. “If I don’t have soccer, I still have them. I am really grateful for the support that they have shown me over the years. I feel really blessed that God put great people throughout those stages in my life. I’m very thankful for how things have turned out.”