Luigi Piccoli has been playing soccer since he was 3 years
old. His first article of clothing as a baby was a shirt of a Brazilian soccer
team. He can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I can’t tell one day of my life that I wasn’t involved with
soccer, playing, watching, video games, searching,” he said.
Piccoli just finished his first season playing for the Southeast
Community College Storm men’s team in Beatrice. Originally from Curitiba,
Parana, in the south of Brazil, you could say Beatrice is a night and day
difference from where he grew up.
“My hometown has more than 1.5 million people, so coming
here was a big change for me, but the people here are really friendly and help
me a lot of the time,” Piccoli said. “Especially for living in a small town, we
need a ride to do everything, and the people here helped a lot.”
The Storm soccer team is very diverse, with players
representing eight countries on the roster. Head Coach Alex Scheuler said they
all help each other as they work together on and off the field.
“Luigi has adapted by learning the ways to communicate on the
field with his diverse teammates on the SCC team, along with adapting to the
very physical style of play in the U.S.,” Scheuler added.
Scheuler was one of the reasons Piccoli chose SCC. He was living
in Canada at the time he communicated with Scheuler through a scout. He knew he
wanted to play in the United States, but wasn’t sure where he would go.
“I started to talk with a few colleges, but coach Alex was
super nice and helped me a lot through this hard process and for that, I want
to play here for him,” he said.
The freshman forward is studying business at SCC and is proud to
be part of a young soccer program. He hopes to accomplish more next season.
“Since soccer here at SCC is really new, we made a lot of
first accomplishments,” he said. “Our first win in program history was
unforgettable, and as a personal accomplishment, my first goal in the second game of the season will be in my mind as well. And academically the teachers
here are really good, and I’m learning a lot with them.”
As for his future, Piccoli hopes to transfer to a Division I or II
school and keep playing soccer. Beyond that, he’s not certain. But he does know
that soccer will be part of his life for a long time. Meanwhile, SCC will
always be part of his legacy.
“It’s great to feel part of something new,” he said. “We are
building something great here, and I know that this team will be in the history
men’s soccer team finished with a 7-8-1 record this season, a marked improvement
from last year’s 0-13 record.