YUMA, Ariz. – “One of the best student-athletes in the nation this year.” That’s high praise, and it is true for Arizona Western College midfielder Eduardo (Eddie) Banuelos. Banuelos was named to the United Soccer Coaches Junior College Men’s Scholar All-America Second Team for his work in the classroom and on the field.
“Eddie is certainly a deserving winner of this award,” said AWC head men’s soccer coach Kenny Dale. “He is not only a great engineering student but also a smart soccer player. Eddie has a tremendous future, and I look forward to following his career as he moves on to the university level.”
Banuelos was a dependable, steadying presence all year for the Matadors on the field. The sophomore was a team captain, and he had one goal and one assist in 22 starts. Banuelos helped keep the ball moving on offense, and he tracked back to clean things up on defense. His versatility on both offense and defense allowed the Matadors to shift and keep their attack flowing all game long.
In the classroom, Banuelos has posted a 3.9 GPA while on track for his degree. He is working on his degree in engineering, and he earned NJCAA Second Team All-Academic honors after his freshman season.
“His intellectual capabilities apply on the field as well as in the classroom,” Dale said. “This is one of the reasons his teammates voted him team captain for the 2017 season. His GPA is among the best in the athletic department, and his academic talents will ensure that his college soccer career continues. He is an academic role model for others to follow.”
The Mats finished the season 13-5-4. The team wrapped up the year with a tough loss in the Region Semifinals at Pima. Three players were named to the All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference First Team and the All-Region I First Team.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.