Sebastian Lopez isn’t ready to give up the sport he learned on Pescadero’s dusty fields just yet. Soccer is in his blood, and it’s a big reason why he is taking the big step he’s chosen after graduating from Pescadero High School.

He’s headed to Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, where he plans on wearing the Seahawks jersey. After two years at the community college level, who knows?

“I got accepted into all the (California State University) colleges I applied to, but I decided to bypass that and go to junior college for now,” he explained in the days before high school graduation. “Mainly it’s because I was aiming to get a soccer scholarship to a CSU or a (University of California) school, but COVID happened and NCAA rules changed.

“So that kind of forced me to either take the junior college route or throw it up in the air,” he said.

Whatever his choice, college is bound to be a change for anyone who, like Lopez, grew up amid the farm fields of the South Coast.

“I’ve been here all my life,” he said, acknowledging that he will miss Pescadero and his close-knit class even if sometimes it feels a bit clausterphobic after a lifetime of seeing the same folks all the time. “I mean, I feel like you could say, after spending so many years together, it can get a little too much time together.”

There is a special side to it too. Lopez knows there are advantages to life in a small town.

“I think all the teachers play a role here. It’s a small school, so it’s easier to get individual help,” he said. “They are willing to help you and pay more attention to you as a student.

Eventually, Lopez thinks he might go into real estate, and he’s sure Pescadero will always be part of his life.

“My family will still be here,” he said. “I’ll come back and help out or give back in some sort of way.”

Does that mean he’s open to spending his adult years in the little town that raised him?

“That is a tough question,” he said. “It would be nice to come back and live where you have lived your whole life, but we’ll see.”

— Clay Lambert

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