Eyes in the Skies
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia College Soccer player and 27-year-old Vincio "Vinny" Aizpurua sees the game from a different perspective. The 2008 graduate attends each Cougar home game, but not as your normal fan.
Aizpurua stands tall on the west side of the field watching the game from atop the wooden platform built for team cameras. As Aizpurua, a self-proclaimed team mentor, sees the game from a different angle, he will yell out directions to help the players make plays they may not be able to see from field level.
"Well actually a couple of times it happened, like I had a guy maybe behind me, and I didn't see him, and I could hear somebody saying something and I would turn and there's a guy behind me," said senior defender Nikola Velickovic.
As players listen to Aizpurua from time to time, in no way does he proclaim himself a "second coach".
"Well I'm definitely not a coach because you know we have a coaching staff that they do all the drills. They have everything, but I'm more like a friend, I'm more like a mentor, that's what I would call myself," Aizpurua said.
As a local youth soccer coach and full-time worker Aizpurua attends as many games as he can. For him, being the eyes in the sky is just a way to help the team that had confidence in him.
"Columbia College gave me so much, in terms of you know, scholarships and experience that I had in this program. I have no way to give back to Columbia College, and this is a way I feel like I'm giving back to the program."