Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain is well on his way to a successful future
By: Shari Chryss Alfred
ST. CROIX- Scoring goals on and off the soccer field, sophomore Kimani George, a criminal justice major and co-captain of the Buccaneer’s soccer team, has proven himself to be a role model, not only to teammates but also to many in the St. Croix community.
The 24-year-old St. Lucian native, who migrated to the Virgin Islands in 2008 for better educational opportunities, and has received that and much more using the strength of his mom as his motivation.
“Her strength is what made me who I am,” said George. “She is a hard worker, very determined, and when her mind is set on something, she makes sure that she does everything to get the job done.”
George like many of his teammates has been playing soccer, or football as he calls it, for most of his life.
“Where I’m from, it’s something that most boys in my community do,” said George. “It’s a part of my culture and I love it.”
This season has been an excellent one for George, who has been a member of the team for the past two years. Not only has he scored one of the best goals of the season in the 3-2 comeback against Bayamon, but he is also a great overall contribution to the team, who are now in the playoffs.
“His experience and desire to win is evident. He is obviously one of the generals on the field,” said David Santesteban, Head Coach for the Bucs. “He is mature and responsible and it shows; the players look up to him as a leader.”
Most men may age may still be getting their life together but George already has coaching opportunities lined up for him in the future.
“I’m hoping that after he graduates he may be able to come back to work for me as a graduate assistant to begin his coaching career if that’s what he desires,” said Santesteban.
After speaking to his teammates, everyone had great things to say about George.
Peter Oculien, a sophomore Applied Mathematics major, who has also known George for his entire life, was eager to speak with us about how great of an influence George has been.
“Everyone wants to win but with Kimani you see the passion in his eyes,” said Oculien. “He is a very intelligent young man and he has high morals.”
“As a player, he is a very competitive individual. He displays critical thinking skills and always strategizing and trying to improve on the field.”
When he’s not playing for the Bucs, George can be found playing with the Helenites Soccer Club and also for the Virgin Islands National Soccer Team, both of which he has been a part of for the past six years.
“He was a starter, one of the best in the tournament,” said Leonard Appleton, who coaches the national team. “He plays hard and aggressive and he is also a very well rounded individual.”
Many recognized George for his accomplishments off the soccer field as well.
“He seems to be doing a lot of good things for himself. A lot of guys aren’t going to school and working but somehow he seems to find the balance between work, school and training,” he continued.
Off the soccer field, George, a Veteran in the Virgin Islands National Guard, is known to many as Specialist George. After joining the Guard in 2009, he spent a year in Afghanistan before returning home.
“It was stressful at times but when you have good soldiers around you, that makes the experience better,” said George, who recently reenlisted for another six years.
Many wonder how he finds the time to do all, but George maintained that he has received huge support from many around him which he is grateful for.
“I work at the school so I have support from the administration, especially persons like Mrs. Washington, who is the Director of Campus Operations, and of course I have my family,” he added.
“Sometimes it can get difficult but when you want something you have to make sacrifices.”