Scottsbluff’s Jerry Escamilla and Luis Martinez have decided to continue their soccer playing at the next level not far from home, just up 27th street at Western Nebraska Community College.
Martinez was one of the Bearcats’ top scorers his junior year and is sitting out this season while undergoing an injury. Escamilla has been a mainstay in the Bearcat soccer program for the past four years.
Both are excited to be continuing playing at the next level.
“I decided [going to WNCC] was a great way to start my soccer career after high school,” Escamilla said. “I always like WNCC and it is close to home and close to my parents still. They have a good soccer program so I decided to join.”
For Martinez, it is a program perfect for his education and soccer playing.
“I decided to become a Cougar because I like how aggressive they play and that is how I played in Peru,” he said. “It is close to home and the family, and I will give it my best.”
Escamilla said playing college soccer and possibly professional is a dream. Part of that dream has been realized.
“It is really exciting for me and one of my dreams since I was really little to continue playing soccer onto college,” Escamilla said. “And then, eventually to become pro. Being able to just take that first step into that college career is start playing at the next level is really exciting.”
When the two high school teammates head up to the hill next year, it will be advantageous for them since they have been high school teammates and now how each play.
“I met Luis his freshman year when he moved to Scottsbluff and it is awesome to sign with him and play with him at the next level,” Escamilla said. “We get to continue our friendship and soccer at the next level.”
WNCC coach Todd Rasnic is excited to get these Bearcats on his program. He said Martinez will be a good striker for them next year.
“Off and on I had both of them and coached them a little bit,” Rasnic said. “I like Jerry’s qualities as well as Luis. I haven’t seen Luis as much in club soccer, but Jerry and I had a little bit of time together I knew right away he was a player that could come in and play with my guys. It necessarily doesn’t mean they have to be the most talented guys, if you can come in and fit in the right position, and that has helped us the last two years where we got our best records in school history. I think these two can come in and contribute right away.”
Scottsbluff coach Nate Rock said both players have contributed to the Bearcat soccer program.
“First and foremost, they are quality young men and they are good students and good teammates,” Rock said. “Beyond their experience on the field, I am just proud of what they have accomplished as young men right now. That is special to me. Luis had a little hard luck this year and got injured right before the season and I know he is bummed about that, but he is a hard worker when he was on the field and great with his teammates. Jerry, the last four years, has continued to improve and provided a lot of comedy relief for our team. He is a great guy to have around and a good leader. They both work incredible hard. They have been great representatives for our program and that is why I was happy to talk to Coach Rasnic for taking them because beyond soccer players, they are excellent young men, too.”