Santos signing

Eliezer Santos, a Copperas Cove soccer player, signed a letter of intent to play soccer for the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Santos will also pursue a degree in aviation to follow his dreams of being a pilot.

Eliezer Santos, a Copperas Cove soccer player, looked to the sky when deciding where to attend college.

The aspiring pilot was being recruited by multiple schools to play soccer, but when one school in particular came calling, he knew it was the right choice.

Santos will attend the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, not only to play soccer, but to also receive a degree in aviation.

“I was really looking for a school that not only had soccer, but (an) aviation major (also),” Santos said in a phone interview Thursday. “Dubuque had it.”

The Copperas Cove soccer season was cut short due to the coronavirus. The Bulldawgs had a few games canceled, including senior night.

Santos said he feels like the adversity will help moving forward.

“Now, I know that everything helps build you up,” he said. “It all counts for something.”

Santos said that anything he goes through, it will help mold him into who he’s going to be.

Santos’ high school coach, Tyler Frank, said he thinks Santos will make the jump from high school to college well.

The Spartans are receiving a quiet leader, Frank said.

Although Santos is not one to yell, Frank said, “He’s going to lead, and he’s going to try to correct everybody in between each play.”

Santos said the Spartans are getting a player who can see the field and anticipate plays before they happen.

Santos was a three-year starter on varsity, a two-year captain, first-team all-district as a junior and Most Valuable Player for the Bulldawgs in his senior year. He also earned Academic All-State honors and finished in the top 10% of his class.

Frank said Santos is self-motivated and expects him to thrive on the pitch.

“If he continues to be the way he is, I expect him to still be a captain,” he said.

Santos is due in Dubuque on Aug. 17.

“I’m just looking forward to the new lifestyle — just being on my own — starting to work towards the career and playing the next level of soccer,” Santos said of the transition to Iowa. “I’m going to miss my friends and family the most.”

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