Skyline Spartan Pedro Miola brought ‘Latin spirit’ to soccer field

June 26, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Pedro Miola (2), Skyline High School midfielder, battles an Eastlake High School player for the ball in a match during his junior year in April 2011. By Greg Farrar

Dubbed one of the Kardiac Kids by The Seattle Times, Pedro Miola made his mark on school history last year when he scored the game-winning sudden-death goal, advancing the Skyline High School Spartans to the state semifinals for the first time.

This year, Miola, and his 17-point season total, helped the team make history again by winning the KingCo 4A Championship.

“Pedro has a knack for being in the right place in the right time,” Spartan soccer coach Don Braman said.

Miola played for Braman’s varsity team all four years of high school, started for the past three and filled the role of team captain this year. While forwards are traditionally the top scorers, the midfielder was second in total points his final season and graduated as the school’s third top scorer ever with 43 career points.

“That is rather impressive,” Braman said. “You want your best players in the middle of the field. He is going to work harder than anybody else. He is going to do the work defending and compete for every ball. He is a model for every guy to look up to and we are going to miss him.”

Miola said he was just happy as long as he was helping the team. He didn’t focus on scoring; the goals came when they came.

The first-team all-leaguer has been helping on the soccer pitch since about age 5. He dabbled in other sports, like golf, tennis and football in elementary school and basketball, lacrosse and swimming in middle school. But it was soccer that consistently captured his energy.

“There is something about soccer that just brings people together. When I go to Brazil I really see that,” Miola said.

Born in Brazil, Miola moved to the states with his family at age 3.

“When Brazil plays, there is no one on the streets. Everyone is with their families,” he said. “I was raised in that culture where soccer is a very high priority.”

Miola’s mother said she was glad to see him using the sport as a way of staying in touch with his roots.

“It was nice to see him enjoying something that connects to our culture,” Cristina Miola said, adding that the family goes back to Brazil almost every year.

When in Sammamish the Miolas still speak Portuguese and eat Brazilian food, and Pedro Miola and his father do their best to keep up on the national team’s progress.

“It’s funny, he kind of has this spirit. The Latin spirit, more outgoing, funny, friendly and welcoming,” Cristina Miola said of her son. “He has a little Brazilian style.”

“He enjoys life,” Braman said. “He is ready to have fun with the team and be part of the mischief that is part of being a teenager.”

The list of mischief is too long for him to count, Pedro Miola said.

“If you are serious all the time you’ll get burned out,” he added.

Between balancing soccer, friends and a 3.92 grade point average, it would have been understandable for the International Baccalaureate candidate to burn out. But he didn’t.

“I really pride myself in my education,” he said. But when he talked to his peers, he said, he didn’t feel as pressured and stressed as them. “That is honestly not me. I found a way to get to sleep early, have a good social life, play soccer and do well in class. I feel like you can always make time if you schedule right.”

Pedro Miola also got an extra boost of motivation from his older sister, who often called him from Santa Clara, Calif., where she attends college, to make sure that he’s keeping up with his studies.

“It’s part of her personality and part of my personality that we both like to win and don’t like losing at all,” he said. “She has always pushed me to being the best person I can be.”

With Skyline behind him and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill ahead, Pedro Miola hopes to get a little more time with the sport he loves by applying to work with the Sounders summer camp.

Lillian Tucker: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Comment at

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