By Derrick Smith
There are people in all of our lives that help us become better people. These role models could be someone we are close to, like a family member or coach, or they could be someone we observe from a distance, like a professional athlete or celebrity. For Daniel Pickard, one of the people he looks up to the most is known worldwide.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is who I look up to the most,” he said. “I like how he plays the game and I would love to play like he does.”
Pickard is a junior at Woodward High School. He plays right wing for the Boomers soccer team and kicker on the football field.
While his love for sports has been around for quite some time, Pickard has only been in this country for a few years. He lived in a Ukrainian orphanage until the age of 15, when he was adopted and brought to America by Shane and Tina Pickard. Shane says that bringing Daniel in did not really change the family dynamic.
“It was not that much different for us,” he said. “We have two older sons. Drew graduated in 2017 and Mark is a senior this year. But it was an opportunity for us to help a kid who had very little in his life up until then. The language barrier was difficult at first but he has done a good job of adapting to life here and getting better with his English speaking skills.”
When you are new to a place, you can sometimes be made to feel not welcome, but that is not the case for Daniel.
“I have loved my few years here,” he stated. “Everyone here has brought me in and made me feel welcome.”
Though he has only played football for a couple of years, Daniel has played soccer for about twelve years. He says that becoming the player that he is today has not been easy.
“It has taken a lot of hard work,” he said. “A lot of practice too. But I enjoy it because I love the game.”
Along with his sports, he is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athlete and the Pep Club.