Western Nebraska Community College’s Leo Palomo had only been to Scottsbluff just one time during his high school playing days at Kearney.
That was conference soccer his freshman year. But after playing two years at WNCC, Palomo gets to take his soccer talents to the next level, signing to play at Concordia University in Seward.
“Playing soccer, even at a community college level, is a dream come true,” he said. “I never thought playing soccer would pay for my education. I want to thank coach for giving me the opportunity to play the past couple years and then to have the opportunity to play another two more years is really special.”
His decision to pick Concordia was simple. He received a good scholarship, but it is closer to his home of Kearney.
“I am going to go to Concordia and I want to go there because it is close to home and they offered me a good amount of money,” he said. “Honestly, their coach is from Kearney, also, and he has followed throughout my career and I think that was the best choice for me.”
Palomo was thinking about also going to the same school as his teammates Silvo Xavier and Leandro Faria at Bethel University, but decided on the eastern Nebraska school.
“I decided to go to Concordia because it was closer to home and I can be close to my mom,” he said.
During his two years at WNCC, he scored four goals, two during his freshman year and two last fall. He said he has grown a lot as a player.
“I have grown a lot playing with these guys that have such a high level,” Palomo said. “I learned so much just being at practice and watching them. Playing with them has helped me grow a lot more.”
Palomo will be joining a Concordia team that went 10-6-4 last fall.
In fact, when he signed to play at WNCC, he got to venture out even more to the real western Nebraska and not just Kearney or North Platte.
“I have been to Scottsbluff only one time for conference my freshman year,” he said. “All I remember is that it was a long drive. That is the only thing I remember.”
But in his two years here, he has come to enjoy the area and the people and it will be hard when he says goodbye in May.
“I am going to miss the people,” he said. “The people that I have met here have been amazing. There have been a lot of positive people that have influenced me a lot to become a better person. I will miss the people a lot, like all the people in this room.”
Palomo will be studying secondary education at Concordia and wants to become a history teacher. He also would like to coach soccer, too.