Allen De Los Santos certainly has the right outlook as he enters the next phase of his educational experience.
While the Revere High soccer star will be continuing his career in that sport at Regis College in Weston, De Los Santos noted the importance of academics in making that decision.
“Regis has the field I want to study, which is exercise science because I’m more interested in working with the physical body itself,” De Los Santos said about picking Regis over other colleges. “I plan to minor in Business and get my master’s as well.”
De Los Santos, 18, announced his decision at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse during an impressive letter-of-intent signing ceremony organized by RHS Director of Athletics Frank Shea.
Among those attending the ceremony were Allen’s parents, Miguel and Rosa, who are originally from Peru, and his brother, Miguel, a 22-year-old junior at Suffolk University.
Regis, a leading, Catholic coed university whose sports team are known as the Pride, is a Division 3 program that competes in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC).
Three varsity seasons at RHS
De Los Santos played three seasons of varsity soccer at Revere High, dividing his talents between the fullback and midfielder positions.
He said beyond the actual games against other schools, he enjoyed the camaraderie of being in Coach Manny Lopes’ boys soccer program.
“I feel my biggest accomplishment was just having fun with my teammates and being one of their teammates in what I call a big, happy family,” said De Los Santos. “I gained all their trust and they gained all my trust.”
He lauded Lopes for developing him in to a college soccer prospect.
“Mr. Lopes was very supportive and very direct – he will push you in to your hearts to do your best, and that’s something I really looked forward to from a coach,” said De Los Santos. “I needed his encouragement and support. He inspired me. He wouldn’t let you play unless you had good grades.”
A passion for soccer
At the age of 8, he began playing soccer in Chelsea for Coach John Matias, devoting many days to elevating his skills. He currently trains with the Hammer Club of West Roxbury.
“Since the beginning, soccer was more like a passion for me, not a sport to me,” said De Los Santos. “It was something I wanted to do. I know after my college career and well past my 30s, I’m going to still want to play soccer. It’s something I live for. The thing I like most about soccer is that it’s a team effort, not individual. You have to make bonds and have discipline.”
Expressing gratitude to his parents
De Los Santos said his parents provided the right combination of academics and athletics.
“My mother pushes me academically and my father pushes me in athletics,” said De Los Santos. “My parents helped me grow as a person with their two ideas combined in one. They were strict about my grades. I value all I learned from mother in finance and [my father] helping me pursue my passion in soccer.”
An older brother is ‘really proud’
Allen credited his older brother, Miguel, an Accounting major at Suffolk, for being a great role model for him.
Miguel said he was “really proud” of his younger brother.
“He’s the second in this generation to go college. He worked really hard for this. It’s been a long time coming. As an older brother, you try to protect him, and now he’s going away to Regis to live on campus. We’re not used to being far part, but to make his dream come true, that’s something we have to sacrifice.”
Miguel, too, said it was their parents who made their dreams attainable.
“Academics was a big part of us growing up,” said Miguel. “It was always, ‘do your homework on time and never miss a class, and it will benefit you in the long run.’ “Our parents sacrificed so much for us so we could have what we have today. They did everything they could so we could get an education here.”