The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


Athletes of West: Episode 4


In this episode, meet freshman Cameron Spangler and Hugo Ortbals who are playing on the varsity soccer team as freshmen. Listen on to learn about the secret behind their success.


Raj Jaladi: I am Raj Jaladi, and you’re listening to Athletes of West, a podcast brought to you by the Pathfinder. Today we are joined by varsity soccer players [freshmen] Cameron Spangler and Hugo Ortbals. When did you start playing soccer and describe the journey?

Cameron Spangler: So I started playing soccer when I was around, I want to say 4. And it wasn’t competitive soccer, but I just started kicking the ball around. And then I’d say when I was around 6 or 7, I joined a church soccer team, and I played that for a couple years. And then when I was 9, I joined an actual club soccer team. And that’s when I really started to excel in soccer, so I’ve been on the club soccer team journey until high school. 

Jaladi: And what about you Hugo?

Hugo Ortbals: My soccer journey started when I was about 3. I played Veta for indoor and, it all started from there. I played on my best friend’s team and worked my way up until I was 6 and joined my first club team. And now I’m on a roll through high school. 

Jaladi: So you just mentioned that transition from not playing competitive to playing competitive, what inspired you, or who inspired you, to play competitively in the first place? 

Spangler: I think my older brother [alumni] Alex Spangler really inspired me to start the soccer journey because he always pushed me when I was younger, and he’s the one who really got me into soccer. 

Ortbals: For me, it was probably my parents who pushed me the most. They saw that I was doing really good in soccer and decided to get me into club and see how I’d do there. 

Jaladi: So I was actually talking to coach Herpel, and he was telling me that during all the time he’s coached, there’s never actually been two freshmen on the varsity soccer team, so that’s a pretty big deal. So what was it like when you found out that you made the varsity team? 

Spangler: When I found out that I made varsity, I was really excited. I think I was pretty surprised. Towards the end of the tryout, I was practicing with people who were going to be playing varsity. But I was still really surprised that I made it. 

Ortbals: Whenever I made varsity, I was really surprised, like Cameron said, I was practicing with lower groups. So I didn’t think that I had a chance like Cameron did. But when he picked me, I honestly don’t even remember how I was feeling. Everything was just a blur at that time. 

Jaladi: What was your greatest obstacle you faced playing varsity soccer?

Spangler: My biggest obstacle was probably just a size difference between me and the seniors I was playing against because they were pretty much grown men compared to me, and they’re just so much bigger than me and stronger than me. And so it was really hard to go against, but I found ways to get around that.

Ortbals: For me, the biggest obstacle is size and speed and also being injured for the first few weeks. Getting pushed off the ball was all the time; if I had the ball, they were always on you or they were just all over you, so it was hard to keep the ball.

Jaladi: Did the turf cause any problems while playing, or was that an issue?

Spangler: No. A couple of turf burns after those bigger kids would put me into the ground, but not really. 

Jaladi: Okay. And what was the adjustment like from middle to high school, not just like soccer wise, but also like adjusting to just school in general?

Spangler: For me, it was probably work ethic from going into high school from eighth grade. It was like me just goofing around, but now I have to put in work and stay on top of my work. 

Jaladi: And how did you manage that adjustment while playing on the varsity team? 

Spangler: Actually, my teammates actually helped me a lot with that change. They made it really easier, just with that big change because they just helped me through it a lot.

Jaladi: So you made the adjustments, you made it through the season. Now let’s talk about your season. What were some of your proudest moments during your season? 

Spangler: So my proudest moments were probably making kids fall whenever I was dribbling or winning more games than we won last year and scoring a lot more goals than we did last year.

Ortbals: For me, it was probably getting four goals and five or six assists in the season. And the playing time I got.

Jaladi: That’s wonderful. So we all face situations when we feel pressure or when the team relies on you to make a big play. How do you feel during those moments, and what do you do to ease the nerves? Especially since when you were playing, during this season at least, you’d barely spent a few months at high school. 

Spangler: For me, I just don’t think, I don’t think about it. I just play on the pitch, and I don’t really think about anything except going to go score a goal. 

Jaladi: Yeah, I think that’s a great strategy. So now for my next question, I want to ask, So what were some of your most memorable moments of being part of the West team? 

Spangler: Mine is probably everyone starting the Ortballs, and like talking about it all around the school. 

Ortbals: For me, it was probably our game against Rittner when [senior] Carson John Mills scored a free kick in overtime to win and we all celebrated in the corner. 

Jaladi: What does it mean to you to represent West varsity soccer team?

Spangler: It means a lot to me because for club, I really felt like I didn’t have a lot to play for when I was playing club. But when I played for West, I actually had something to play for because it was like I’d be playing for my school and that I’m representing out there. 

Ortbals: Yeah, same for me. It meant so much to me being able to play for my friends and all of them. And I just felt super cool that they could come out and watch us play as a team. 

Jaladi: I wish I could relate to the watching part, but I play tennis and nobody really watches tennis, so I can’t relate to that. But what were some of your toughest parts of practice or matches or game?

Spangler: For practice, it was definitely all the running we had to do. And then games, all the running we had to do.

Jaladi: It doesn’t really sound like you like running. There’s not much time left after soccer in school, but what else do you do outside of soccer in school? 

Spangler: Outside of school, I like to hang out with my friends and usually play other sports, sometimes I play football or basketball.

Ortbals: For me, I play indoor soccer with the juniors, and then I might play some volleyball if I don’t get cut, and I hang out with my friends after school. 

Jaladi: That’s very nice. What do you do to relax because you probably had stressful soccer?

Spangler: Outside of school, I like to play video games like FIFA or Madden. That’s how I relax. Yeah, Madden.

Jaladi: Yea we have to run that up sometime. Who is your role model?

Spangler: My role model is probably my brother because just me wanting to be better than him pushes me. 

Jaladi: Okay, and who’s your role model?

Ortbals: My role model is probably [senior] Carson John Mills or [senior] Adam Lancia because I hope to become them whenever I am their age. 

Jaladi: And what’s your goal in terms of sports or career?

Ortbals: Maybe join the military or start a car business or a car shop. Jaladi: You into cars?

Ortbals: Yes

Jaladi: That’s sick. 

Spangler: What type of cars are you into?

Ortbals: Probably the one that Raj Jaladi drives?

Jaladi: Why do you want to join the military?

Ortbals: because it pays for my college. 

Spangler: And so my goal is to probably get some money off playing maybe soccer in college or at a school, they’ll pay for my education. And if you’re good enough, they’ll pay you, but I’m not that good. I know my limits.

Jaladi: Last question. What is your advice for freshmen athletes? Big question now. Okay. You’re talking for all the freshmen.

Spangler: My advice for freshmen athletes is to not give up, keep up the grind and put in 110% effort.

Jaladi: Wow, that was inspirational to me, and I’m not even a freshman. Thank you both

for joining me today on this episode of Athletes of West. Thank you for all those listening out there, we’ll see you another time.

In this episode, meet freshman Cameron Spangler and Hugo Ortbals who are playing on the varsity soccer team as freshmen. Listen on to learn about the secret behind their success.

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Raj Jaladi
Raj Jaladi, Newsletter Editor/Data Analyst
Pronouns: he/him Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What is your favorite piece of literature? "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." Who is your hero? Ghandi. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mac & cheese.
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Athletes of West: Episode 4