RICHMOND, Va. – Dennis Castillo recalls his freshman year of college as something of a hellacious, Sisyphean labor. His daily slog from dawn until dusk included multiple bus trips, hours of training, unsympathetic professors and traffic. Oh, so much traffic.
Although he’s four years removed from that unforgiving grind, Castillo hasn’t forgotten those long days and nights. It’s through that lens he’s learned to appreciate how far he’s come and what’s still on the horizon.
Today, Castillo is a star, perhaps the brightest on the VCU Soccer team. A gifted defender, Castillo is a three-time All-Atlantic 10 and two-time All-Mid Atlantic Region pick. Castillo spent the summer with the Portland Timbers’ U-23 squad and was named PDL Defender of the Year. In May he was called up the Costa Rican U-23 Men’s National Team. A pro soccer career almost certainly waits in the wings.
He’s also a VCU graduate. Castillo received his undergraduate degree in urban planning in December and is currently enrolled as a graduate student. He spent part of his summer working part-time for a Richmond urban planning firm.
On the field and in the classroom, Castillo leads. A team captain, he hopes to spearhead A-10 and NCAA Tournament runs.
Castillo’s future is equally bright, regardless of whether he ends up on the pitch or pitching designs. But it’s all built on a foundation in the past, forged through a seemingly endless series of bus trips, conscientious parenting and a love of soccer.