Boys Frosh-Soph Soccer, Boys Varsity Soccer · Senior Spotlight: Neil Verwillow

Neil Verwillow (17′) is a dual sport athlete at Paly, competing on both the Varsity Soccer and Track & Field teams. He answered a few questions about his Palo Alto experience:

Q: What sports have you participated in at Palo Alto? *
A: Soccer, Track and Field
Q: What is your favorite sports moment at Palo Alto?
A: First round of CCS open division against Watsonville last year for soccer. Though we lost the game, we played the majority 1 man down, and it was amazing to have so many people in the stands cheering us on. We saved 2 penalties that game out of 3, and we had 1 penalty that I scored late in the game to take us to overtime. I suppose I would’ve been less happy if that was my last season, but I remember that game very fondly just because of the effort we put into it.
Q: What are some athletic and/or academic achievements you’ve received while at Palo Alto?
A: I was voted to be a Captain of soccer my Junior Year, I was Defensive player of the year for the team, as well as first-team overall in De Anza League. My proudest achievement was being voted by all the coaches in the league as the Defensive MVP.
Q:What is your favorite class and why?
A: I particularly enjoy my AB Calc class. While I really enjoy my teacher and his teaching style, as well as I have a couple of close friends in the class, the content itself is incredibly interesting. Every math class I have ever taken feels like it has been leading up to this one, and almost everything that we’ve learned has finally been explained and used demonstrated in real world applications.
Q: Who is your all-time favorite athlete and why?
A: I really look up to Cristiano Ronaldo. Though somewhat cliche I’m sure, I like to think my style-of-play is somewhat similar to his, and the amount of work he puts into the game and the passion he has for it has always inspired me to get better. Most importantly he is a very respectable person off the field. He doesn’t any tattoos just so that he can donate blood, and donates a lot to charity as well as does a lot of his own charity work.
Q: Outside of sports, what is your favorite hobby?
A: I really enjoy playing with and modifying high powered RC cars, the fuel powered ones can reach speeds north of 70mph if broken in properly. It’s a great way to kill some time on the weekend, taking those to a empty parking lot and driving them off-road and off jumps sometimes.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate from Palo Alto?
A: I have Verbally Committed to Trinity University, the top ranked D3 soccer school in the nation. I’ll play there and hope to study mechanical or civil engineering. After that I hope to get my master’s at maybe Stanford or somewhere respectable, as both my parents and my sister all went/go to Stanford.
Q: As a senior, what advice would you give to freshman at Paly?
A: In terms of sports, definitely to be confident in your demonstrated ability. What I mean by that especially for soccer, everyone needs to vocal on the field. A lot of the time the younger guys out there are pretty quiet especially those on Varsity, so they miss out on opportunities to make plays as they won’t call for the ball. No one enjoys playing with someone who thinks that they are a lot better than they actually are, but it’s important to be confident in the ability that you have demonstrated.