By Kervy Robles, Sports Editor
Student-Athlete of the Week, All Tournament Team and All American 1st Team awards by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), along with the recognition as a Member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American Team are some of the honors Thiago Barreto Dos Santos registered on his first season in Bison Hill.
In order to accomplish such a successful year, Dos Santos had to overcome some difficulties at his arrival to the States.
“It was only my first week in Oklahoma and I wanted to go back to Brazil,” Dos Santos said. “I did not understand the language. But after a month, I saw the progress on me speaking English and I knew it was going to be worthy.”
Even with obstacles in the beginning, Dos Santos does not regret his decision to come to Oklahoma Baptist University.
“I chose OBU because they offered me to learn English first,” Dos Santos said. “To be able to speak this language was a goal for me. I grew up in a Christian environment and OBU seemed like the right choice.”
Dos Santos, a freshman from Natal, Brazil, held big goals for his experience abroad.
“I came to help the team to have a successful season,” Dos Santos said. “As soon as we started pre-season, everybody was making a huge effort. I knew we were going to make it very far.”
As a result, Dos Santos finished the season with 17 goals and two assists.
“I influenced the most by scoring goals,” Dos Santos said. “This team is like a family so we all contributed to make it to Regionals and Nationals.”
Dos Santos recognized his teammates to play a significant role during his first year.
“The team has always been important for me,” Dos Santos said. “I had bad games where I was discouraged but my teammates showed respect and support.”
The things that separate Dos Santos from home do not stop him from his dreams.
“Family, food and the beach are some of things I miss the most of Brazil,” Dos Santos said. “However, I came to OBU to pursue my dream of becoming a business alumni as well as a professional soccer player.”
Dos Santos acknowledged his family as part of his success in Oklahoma.
“I was used to see my family at every of my games,” Dos Santos said. “I communicate with them every day of the week and in my head, during game times, it is like they are out there cheering for me.”