Five years and four national championships later, Gerardo Magno walks away from the Humber men’s soccer team as one of the most decorated captains in school history.
“My goal when I first came to Humber was to get an education,” said Magno, 23, who arrived in 2012. “Athletically, my goal was to win.”
The midfielder became an important part of Humber’s team in his first year, securing a spot in the starting line-up on a team full of veterans. That was also the first year that the Hawks men’s soccer team won a national championship since 2001.
“I was fortunate enough to start every game my rookie year and play alongside veteran players who paved the way for me and instilled the Humber Hawk mentality,” he said. “That’s something I respect and value a lot and try to do now as a veteran player to the younger guys coming in.”
Since his first year, the midfielder has been one of the biggest factors for the men’s soccer team. Not only has he represented the men’s team very well, according to his coaches, but also Humber Athletics.
“He has been benchmark for consistency on the field and in the classroom,” says assistant coach, and former Humber Hawk, Jason Mesa. “He leads by example.”
Kingsley Boasiako was a rookie in 2012, the same year Magno was a rookie. The two are now the team’s co-captains and, this year, they won the national championship for the third time together.
“Gerardo exemplified what it takes to be a champion by always maintaining a positive and winning mindset,” Boasiako said. “He has taken on many roles and sacrificed a lot to make the soccer program what it is now.”
Magno has been a great example of what a student athlete should be. Year after year, even with a busy school schedule, he has passed every class and made it to every practice commuting from Humber’s Lakeshore campus.
“He showed up to every practice working hard, and even working with other players to better them,” said Boasiako. “He has set the standard.”
Magno is in his final year of a Bachelor degree in Child Youth Care. He previously graduated from the Child and Youth Worker advanced diploma.
Along with making an impact on the soccer field, Magno can be found making an impact in the varsity academic centre, which is a study area for Humber’s varsity athletes. He is available as a mentor to help fellow athletes who might be struggling with their studies.
Now, as he completes his soccer career at Humber, Magno walks away as a four-time Canadian national champion.
“As a Humber Hawk, the goal is always to win and to win at the highest level,” Magno said.
Out of four championships, Magno has a list of special moments. One of them is winning gold in 2015 when he played the championship game two-men down after red cards early in the game. His final season is at the top of the list.
“This last year is special because I managed to come back to play after an injury mid-season,” Magno said. “It was the perfect ending to a perfect year. It was nice to finish off my career as a national champion.”
Mesa says that Magno has made the coaches’ lives easier because of his presence and leadership with the team. He has helped guide first and second year players just like the veterans did when he was a rookie.
“We are very proud to have had Gerardo with us for 5 years, and he will be very difficult to replace,” Mesa said.
Magno says he would welcome the opportunity to help coach but hasn’t put much thought into it. He is grateful for the years he has had with Humber, and he thanks them for everything they have done for him.
“Without the Humber Hawks, I don’t think I would be where I am today,” he said.