LA CEIBA, Honduras – Darton State College soccer star Diego Ramos has signed a professional contract in Honduras with Club Deportiva Victoria, a 1st division, high profile team that will expose him to both domestic and the CONCACAF Champions League play beginning Saturday.
About 18 months ago, Ramos led the NJCAA with 30 assists and scored 17 goals as an attacking central midfielder for the Cavaliers before he was crowned the 2011 NJCAA Player of the Year. He was also an All American and GCAA conference player of the year during his two seasons with Darton.
With CD Victoria, Ramos will play against American Major League Soccer teams such as Kansas City and Houston in the first rounds of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League tournament, which opens Tuesday.
His side finished the 2012-2013 tournament as runners-up and with the best aggregate record.
“I’ve been working really hard to get where I am in my career, and I realized that to make it I had to work twice as hard because everyone wants to reach the top, but not everyone is willing to sacrifice everything to get there,” he said in an email from Honduras. “A key to being at this level was spending two years at Darton.”
Darton State College head men’s soccer coach Bart Sasnett said he was positive Ramos would sign a professional contract after leaving Darton, and he feels that this is only the beginning of a bright career in professional soccer.
“It is a very competitive league,” Sasnett said. “It’s going to prepare him for future endeavors in the pro ranks, as Diego is by far one of the most driven individuals and leaders that I have ever coached. His character is unmatched. He came here and really grew up and matured very quickly.”
“I learned a lot from Coach Bart and also from the teammates,” Ramos said. “I want to thank Coach Bart for believing in me and for giving me the confidence I needed to become the player I am now. I enjoyed learning from him. Hopefully one day I can go finish my classes at Darton and be coach Bart’s assistant.
”I also want to thank (Darton Athletics Director) Mike Kiefer and (soccer academic advisor) Carol Ann Ham for always being behind the team and supporting us.”
Ramos and CD Victoria play Club Tiajuana (Mexico) at 10 p.m., EST, on Aug. 20, as their first match in the 2013-2014 CONCACAF tournament.