An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : News
NEWS | Nov. 9, 2018

Randolph HS student receives full scholarship to UTSA

By Airman Shelby Pruitt 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Ariana Gomez, a San Antonio native and Randolph High School student, began recreational league soccer at the age of 4. Little did she know, at the age of 16, her passion for the game would prosper into a full scholarship to the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Ariana’s father, Jerry Gomez, Air Force Medical Modeling and Simulation Training operations resource manager, has been working in San Antonio his entire career. After retiring as a technical sergeant two years ago, Jerry took a position at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph as a Department of Defense civilian.

As the family lived closer to JBSA-Randolph, Ariana was enrolled to Randolph High School and was grandfathered in after her father retired to continue her schooling there. 

As Randolph High School doesn’t have a soccer program, Ariana has played for multiple premier soccer clubs within San Antonio. Currently she plays for the SA City Soccer Club.

“It is very fun to watch her play; she’s amazing when it comes to soccer,” said Jerry. “She’s so passionate and talks about it all the time.”

For Ariana, playing soccer is a stress-free zone.

“When I’m on the field, it’s like everything is blocked out, and I don’t have to worry about anything.” she expressed.

Ariana also had the opportunity to train with the North Texas Soccer Olympic Development Program from the age of 10 to 14. The junior athlete traveled once a month to Texas A&M University to practice with the elite players of Texas.

Ariana’s passion and skill didn’t come without sacrifice.

“With soccer comes a lot of sacrifice, I do miss out on a lot of my friends’ birthdays, sweet sixteens, family time and even my siblings’ birthdays,” Ariana said. “It’s kind of hard, but it’s what I like doing and I’m willing to do anything to get me to the top.”

Ariana’s time in high school is a continuous balancing act between a social life, soccer, volleyball, school and family.

“I usually manage my homework through the school day,” she said. “I try to get it done during lunch, because I know after school I have a two-hour soccer practice.”

Jerry agrees, and thinks the family plays a big role in keeping her going and supporting the game.

“Definitely a lot of sacrifice from herself from not being able to do things that a typical teenager growing up can do,” he said. “Teamwork and sacrifices from the family are required as well.”

Ariana believes her dad was a huge factor in getting her this far in her soccer career.

“He’s really hard on me, but the good kind!” she said. “My dad’s been a big part of my soccer career. He’s the one that takes me to games, motivates me and even sometimes misses my siblings’ birthdays with me.”

Starting her journey with UTSA, Ariana was invited to a soccer camp for the team this past July.

After completion of the camp, the coaching staff, whom couldn’t quite recruit her as she was still technically a sophomore, invited Ariana back for a school visit.

During the visit she was brought in by the freshman UTSA soccer players. Ariana stayed in the dorms with the girls, was showed around the campus and practiced with the team.

Ariana and her father share the same excitement about her upcoming career on UTSA’s soccer team.

“I’m excited about her going to UTSA, the coaches are super nice and it’s a fairly new program, but they’ve made big strides this year,” Jerry said. “Plus she’s my baby, so I’m glad she close to home.”

Ariana is undecided on her major with UTSA, but plans to study either psychology or criminal justice.

Although she is nervous about the intensity of the conditioning and competitiveness of moving to the collegiate level, she is confident she can balance it.

 “I did talk to UTSA’s student academic counselor and she seems like she’s going to have me on the right path,” she said. “I can go to this building that’s just for athletes and do my homework, so I think I’ll be fine.”

“I’m not really looking forward to the end of her youth soccer but I’m excited for her to move on to the next stage of her life,” Jerry said proudly. “I think if she continues to play the way she plays and continues to develop the way she has developed, I have no doubt in my mind that she could play professionally.”

Ariana will graduate Randolph High School in May of 2020 and will be attending UTSA in the fall of that same year.