Trivium boys soccer coach Ernie Santa Cruz has strong words to describe his player Andrei Bank.
“It’s his heart and determination that propel him to the top,” Santa Cruz said. “He’s our workhorse. He is what gets us going. He’s the motivational leader.”
Now in his fourth season as a varsity player, Bank feels his leadership skills have improved during his years as a Crimson Knight.
“As a freshman, I was coming in from middle school and being the most athletic or whatever,” Bank said. “But then, I realized that my mind of the game and my physicality also improved. As the team has changed with players coming and going, I’ve learned to become more of a team player and just be there for everybody.”
Bank has been a supportive teammate before this season. On top of also participating with the club team Phoenix Premier FC, for whom he also plays under Santa Cruz, he took initiative. He took it upon himself to organize team practices when it was uncertain if games were to be played during the pandemic.
“He would come from my club practices and work with the kids,” Santa Cruz said. “He wants to have a great senior year. We have big goals here this year, and he knew that’s what it was going to take.”
“Everybody has to go through it together,” Bank added. “I know it’s hard running with the mask and adjusting to that. But I think everybody’s doing really well.”
Bank scheduled practices to help Trivium play well against its tough schedule. The Crimson Knights are classified as 3A in the AIA, two levels lower than many of the teams they will face, such as the Verrado Vipers and Millennium Tigers.
“Even though we go to a small school and we don’t get the biggest choice of a team, we’re still able to come prepared and play against these big schools,” Bank said.
“People are going to recognize once the game starts that he’s one of the better players on the field,” Santa Cruz said. “He’ll rise to that occasion.”
After his senior season, Bank will continue his education and soccer career at Occidental College in Los Angeles. While he is excited about the change, his endearment of Trivium will never diminish.
“I’m always going to love this school,” he said. “I love the people that are here. I love the team.”