Clovis High boys soccer coach Greg Trujillo feels his team, if entirely made up of players like Izzy Miranda, would be certain to be bound for the playoffs.
That’s saying a lot, since Miranda is the kind of player that doesn’t even make it to all of the practices.
In fact, Isaias “Izzy” Miranda has the same problem of missing practices for the CHS boys cross-country team this fall. After he showed a great deal of promise at running long distances in the spring track and field season, Miranda decided to give cross country a try as his senior year began.
So far, it’s been a fruitful experiment. Miranda’s first try at the three-mile cross country distance ended with a team-best time and 12th-place finish overall at a meet in Albuquerque on Sept. 13th.
As a point of emphasis, that was Izzy’s first official cross country race.
“He’s going to go out and compete and that’s why you want him here,” Clovis cross country coach Mike Hankins said. “He doesn’t know anything but compete. He has one speed and that’s go-get-’em.”
Though relatively new to long distance running, Miranda sports an attitude most veterans should envy.
“I like running. It teaches me about life,” he said. “I take it as life, because you can’t just quit life. When I’m running, that’s kind of what keeps me going — you can’t just quit, you’ve got to continue.”
Although Miranda ran track last spring, his introduction to longer foot races was gradual. But, as he demonstrated a couple of weeks ago, he proved naturally adept at it.
“Me, in my infinite wisdom, didn’t put him at the two-mile (3,200 meters) until midway through the season,” Hankins said. “He’s a 10:02 two-miler in his second race ever and qualified for state.
“He ended up ninth or 10th (at state), but the thing about it is that he went out and ran with the leaders. He’s got the heart of a lion to do that.”
Miranda’s aptitude for running though meant that scheduling problems would be imminent with the sport he already played: soccer.
Conflict? What conflict?
“Not really, you know, since soccer is mainly about running,” said Trujillo, in his first season as the Clovis boys soccer coach. “So I don’t mind sharing his with cross country.
“It really helps his stamina to do all the running he does. I mean, he never runs out of gas.”
A starting forward on the soccer squad, Miranda juggles his two varsity sports by running in the morning and usually practicing on the soccer field in the afternoon.
He missed the Wildcats’ cross country meet last Saturday in Carlsbad. That’s because the Clovis soccer team played at home against Artesia.
Occasionally, he does run with his cross country teammates in their regular afternoon practices. But since Miranda has already demonstrated himself to be the fastest of the bunch, it’s he who is his own pace-setter.
“My primary sport is soccer, since I’ve been doing it since the eighth grade,” Miranda said. “But it evens out — what I do on the soccer field and what I do on the track.”
Izzy Miranda, ironically, said his favorite sport is baseball. At only 5-feet, 4-inches, however, Miranda’s sport of choice is one chosen as a spectator.
Don’t expect Miranda to get much time to watch baseball on television for the next couple of months though.
“I’ve known Izzy for awhile and he has the best attitude about everything. He’s an all-around player and an all-around student,” Trujillo added.