For the first nine years of his life, Sebastian Leon played soccer in the streets of Peru. Next fall, he’s going to be playing at the collegiate level at the University of Rochester.
Evanston’s top goal-scorer knew from a young age that he could play competitively some day.
“I basically just grew up playing on the streets there. I moved here when I was about nine and then I joined a club team. I’ve always loved it, always wanted to keep doing it,” Leon says.
Leon played a key part in Evanston’s last run that ended in the sectional finals of the state tournament. That was special for Leon, particularly because of the way the Kits’ season ended in 2021, when there were no state playoffs because of COVID.
“Last year, there were no playoffs. We were supposed to play in the fall, but [the IHSA] moved it to the spring. So it was like a month and a half long season, but we did pretty well,” Leon elaborates. “We beat New Trier in the last game of the season, who was the number one ranked team for most of the season. Coming in as a freshman, you look at playoff games like, ‘I want to do that.’ So, finally, doing that my last year and having a strong run was great.”
Leon will be majoring in business and was considering UIC and Depaul in addition to Rochester.
“There were a couple other schools I was deciding on. But when I went to visit [Rochester], I had a really good time with both the coaches. They really liked me and they said they want me at their program. I really liked the campus and that just sealed my decision. It was the best academic and athletic fit.”
Soccer has paved the way to many of Leon’s friendships, and he will miss the memories created with the ETHS team.
“Just bonding with my teammates, having fun and getting to see them every day. Those are some pretty unforgettable experiences.”