For the last two years, North Pulaski soccer player Ulises Arias has been the Falcons’ top offensive player. His performances were noticed by other coaches as Arias was named to the Arkansas High School Coaches Association as an all-star to the East squad.
The self-appointed leader of the Falcons for the last two years, Arias competes in the boys’ soccer match at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Conway High School’s McConnell Stadium.
"He’s a leader, and he knows the game," North Pulaski Coach Jeffery Osborn said. "If somebody is not doing his part, he will correct him. He’s not real militant and gets more frustrated with himself than anything else. His level of play lifts everyone else up. He is a leader and scorer and takes it upon himself to lift everyone else up."
Taking up soccer in 2006 after watching his dad play at Burns Park, Arias played with the Falcons his freshman year before going to California his sophomore season. His family went out West for a funeral and decided to stay but had to return home after their house here in Arkansas flooded. Thus, Arias finished his junior and senior years at North Pulaski.
"I started playing after watching my dad and didn’t know I had it in me," Arias said. "It is a fun sport to play, and I just like the sport in general. My personality is to try and direct the team and make sure everybody knows what he is doing. I like communication on the field."
Osborn says Arias off the field is well rounded and sociable but not real exuberant. On the field, he is a different person. A very passionate player, Arias managed to get two yellow cards in the Falcons’ second to last conference game. Two yellow cards equal and a red card and mean a one-game suspension. With the final conference game looming, Osborn remedied the situation by quickly scheduling a non-conference game between the two conference matchups.
"He is very competitive and very passionate and not a dirty player," Osborn said. "During that match he wasn’t in agreement with the officiating, and I couldn’t disagree. I liked that energy from him, and he is a talented player. He could play at the next level if he could go somewhere to get some practice and a trainer to work with him."
Right now, Arias is planning on attending Pulaski Tech but is open to and still trying to pursue a college-playing opportunity. For the immediate future, he is just looking forward to the all-star game.
"I just want to make a good name for myself," he said. "Hopefully, something good can come from it."