Wolfpacket January 2022 Athlete of the Month: Riley Zitar


Contributed by Riley Zitar

It’s a brisk and chilling Thursday night in January. The seats of the bleachers are bitter with cold, freezing the rear ends of the few viewers scattering the stands. The bright lights of the stadium glare onto the soccer field, as two opposing teams organize themselves into their starting positions. CHS Wolfpack’s varsity soccer, dressed in maroon with pre-wrap and ponytails on their heads, kicks off. Standing in line with the home team’s side, wearing jersey number six is defensive-mid, Riley Zitar.
Since the ripe young age of four years old, Zitar has been playing soccer. Beginning like many, on an AYSO team she was registered to by her parents. However, it would be five more years before she would say that her career in the sport really took off for her. This transition took place in third grade when she joined the local Claremont Stars club. Later she would move to Man United club then to Surf/ The Los Angeles Soccer Club. With the club season lasting year round, soccer has been a constant with Zitar. Through elementary, middle, and high school she has built strong bonds with her teammates, growing her love for soccer.
“It [soccer] has been a part of my life for a long time, so it’s always kind of been there, it’s very stable for me,” Zitar said. ”A lot of connections I’ve made through soccer are very important to me and I just enjoy playing it [soccer] a lot.”
Throughout the years soccer has taught her much, allowing her to develop teamwork skills, pushing her to work hard, and even teaching her important lessons on how to lose. Through all the obstacles Zitar has faced in both soccer and life, she remains motivated to play thanks to the support of her family and the encouragement of her coaches.

Photo courtesy of Riley Zitar

Now a senior and on her fourth and last season of varsity soccer, Zitar continues to be a star midfielder. With a division one rating and sixteen seniors on the team, Zitar’s last soccer season is promising.
On the field, it is Zitar’s job to help organize the play of the game as a midfielder, structuring play in such a way that her team has the greatest chance to win. She helps create assists and passes that help teammates score, as well as running back to defense to prevent any goals. Off the field, Zitar and her fellow seniors have a leadership role among their teammates, encouraging and pushing them to each do their best. Last year they saw the team to CIF semi-finals but this year they have even bigger goals to win league and CIF.
Some of Zitar’s greatest achievements on the team include earning Rookie of the year freshman year, and receiving an All-Academic award, her junior year in the midst of a global pandemic, distance learning, and a late start to the soccer season.
Zitar hopes her soccer will continue through college, but regardless she will always have a place for soccer in her life. With plans to attend Claremont McKenna next year, Zitar is looking to take a step back from soccer. Though she will be playing for a division three team, it will allow her freedom to enjoy other aspects of college life.
Zitar would like to give a shout out to Mia Rodriguez and Jasmine Armas, her teammates, Kyla Velasco and Ava Stepanian all for their amazing friendship, and to her coaches Tim Tracy and Nicole Giles.