The DLSU Women’s Football Team lost seven players from the Season 79 championship squad due to graduation and to complicate things further, the Castañeda sisters, Sara and Anicka, decided to sit-out the entire Season 80 thus putting a massive gap in the middle of the pitch for head coach Hans Smit. With the departure of several players from the team, the timing of Bea Delos Reyes’s inclusion to the team couldn’t have been any better.
Adjusting to the college level
“Back in high school, Coach Hans already recruited me in April of 2015 to play for DLSZ varsity in preparation for DLSU entry,” Delos Reyes shares.
The former DLSZ stand-out was impressive right from the start as she bossed the central midfield with her ability to dictate the tempo of the game with her slick passing abilities and remarkable stamina. Her lack of height did not hinder her from going head-to-head with the opposing team’s midfielders as she used her quickness and football wits both offensively and defensively.
Delos Reyes’s efforts on the pitch did not go unnoticed as she was able to bag the Season 80 Rookie of the Year award, despite having the difficulty of having to adjust from the high school level of play.
“At first, it was a bit hard but then I was able to get the hang of it and I just followed what Coach Hans told me to do every game.”
As a rookie, she always felt that she was welcome to the team. Delos Reyes says that her team guided her from intense practices and games since the beginning, and throughout the season, with the help of her teammates and team captains. Despite being the only rookie in the starting 11, Delos Reyes had the motivation due to the overwhelming support of everyone around her.
“They also pushed me during every game in the UAAP season and they never failed to show me their support since I was the only rookie in the first 11. I gained my confidence every step of the way because once, they were also in my position starting from the beginning. I know that I belong to this team ‘cause of them,”
Success on the pitch
Another factor that helps Delos Reyes on the field is her ability to keep her focus and optimism on the game. She mentions that one way to prepare for the game is to completely tune out everything that is not related to the game.
Continuing, Delos Reyes remains very much ecstatic about the women’s team bagging the championship in her very first playing season. This victory was dedicated to her graduating team captains Kyla Inquig and Nicole Andaya because according to her, if it weren’t for them, she would not have gotten that confidence she needed to play the best she could.
With the championship title in hand, Delos Reyes was also awarded with Rookie of the Year award, and she expressed that she was very gratified with this award and she owes it to all the people who stood by her and encouraged her, “Being awarded the Rookie of the Year is also an honor and this wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the people who believed in me; that I can contribute despite my height and some of my disadvantages. I dedicate that award to my coach and my teammates and it was the outcome of how I wanted to contribute in each game.”
With Season 80 done, Delos Reyes looks forward to the upcoming season as she wishes that her team’s reign does not stop here but hopes that they can excel even more on the playing field, especially when it comes to integrating new players coming in next year. Also, with regards to the Castañeda sisters, she expresses her excitement on playing with them as the return of the duo will add more talent to the team in their title defense.