Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer player Josue Fernandez spent two years at WNCC trying to get better as a player.
He accomplished that and now will be taking his talents to the next level after signing with Concordia University in Seward Thursday night in front of his teammates and friends.
Fernandez picked Concordia because it was closer to home. Fernandez played four years of soccer at Holdrege High School.
“I decided to go to Concordia because it is a lot closer to my mom and my siblings,” he said. “I also really like the team there and athletes. They were very caring.”
Last season Concordia went 10-5-4 and has had a 10-win season in eight consecutive seasons.
For Fernandez, who has had success in soccer all through high school, continuing to play soccer at the collegiate level is special.
“It is something very humbling and blessing [to keep playing],” he said. “I cannot imagine myself not playing a sport that I grew up playing.”
Fernandez had many shining moments in his soccer career. The one that he remembers the most was when he was a freshman at Holdrege, he and his team came to Gering for a semi-final game and scored the winning goal with seconds left to send Holdrege into the district finals.
“My freshman we came here to play Gering in the semifinals for districts,” he said. “The game was really tight through. I had one chance and I scored with one second and we sent the Holdrege team to the finals to play Lexington and we beat them at home.”
After four good years at Holdrege, he went on to have good years at WNCC. Last season for the Cougars, he played in 14 games and scored two goals for a Cougar team that went 9-6. Fernandez said that he has improved a lot in two years under WNCC head coach Todd Rasnic’s coaching.
“I have improved so much especially culture-wise in how I came from Holdrege and how their game was so direct,” he said. “When I came here it was shocking of how they play with so many different types of players from Brazil, Peru, and the United States. It has just been awesome.”
When Fernandez leaves WNCC, it will be tough as he will leave the many friends he has made. He will cherish his time in Scottsbluff.
“I will miss definitely the connections with the players,” he said. “They are much more than friends now, they are like my second family. They are very special to me.”
That is why Fernandez said the WNCC soccer program is special. Year in and year out, WNCC sends its players on to the next level and this year is no exception.
“It is a very rewarding program,” Fernandez said. “Coach Rasnic will bend his back for you if you bend your back for him. He says it a lot. You just have to work hard here and keep moving forward.”