by AUTUMN OSIA
With his head in advertising and heart in soccer, 20-year-old Drake sophomore Antonio Melendez has always had his priorities. Moving from Muscatine high school in Iowa to pursue soccer at the Kansas City Academy, soccer has always been a passion for Melendez.
“When I have a goal in mind I go after it,” Melendez said via email. “I don’t stop until I get there and if I fail then I try again. That is why I am here today playing soccer at a Division 1 college.”
While training to improve his soccer skills, Melendez has developed bonds with his teammates that extend off the field.
“Mel is my teammate, but I consider him more as my friend,” said Juan Louis, Drake junior and forward position soccer player via text message. “I would describe him as a respectful guy who is outgoing and will talk to anyone on campus. He also tries to be funny at times.”
Aside from playing soccer, Melendez described the relationship he has with his family as strong and part of his path in life.
“I love my family,” Melendez said via email. “My family is a total of 6 of us. My older sister Reyna, younger brother Miles, younger sister Taya and my two parents Jose and Tera.”
Forming a particularly strong bond with his older sister, she described Melendez as her go-to when she needs help with a family issue or a question.
“Tone is such a good brother,” his sister Reyna Melendez said via email. “I tore my ACL playing soccer my freshman year and Antonio slept in my queen-sized bed that first night, taking up maybe 1/4 of it, just in case I needed pain meds or help using the bathroom. My mom took a picture of us and he looked so uncomfortable but he asked me if I needed him to stay in my room again that next night anyway.” Reyna Melendez has decided to attend Drake for her Master’s Degree this fall so they can graduate together in the spring of 2022.