San Diego Homegrown Series: Berrick Rastok

San Diego Homegrown Series: Berrick Rastok

Injuries are just one aspect of the game that can happen, but, when Berrick Rastok suffered his 3rd major setback from a severe ankle injury, he was determined more than ever to get back on the field. His passion for the game is obvious when you watch him live. He is a vocal and physical player with a bravado style that stands out on the pitch similar to one of his influences, Clint Dempsey.

Looking back, Berrick recalls many times where playing soccer in San Diego helped him improve his game. As a teen, he played for Surf Soccer Club for many years and recounts being in the presence of top quality players from San Diego.

“The talented players within Surf helped me realize my own vision and how I wanted soccer to be a part of my life,” said Rastok. Not only was he exposed to great players, but also to great innovative coaching that further pushed his ability as a midfielder.

The local exposure to talented coaches is what took him beyond his comfort level and that is when he began exploring coaching roles in the San Diego area. The path to coaching was not smooth for Rastok but, it is something he doesn’t expect to change any time soon.

“I wouldn’t change my path because not only am I coaching at one of the best clubs in the United States, but, I am part of a program that I believe in.” That is the passion Rastok possesses and shows itself on the pitch.

The passion arose from his biggest supporter, his mother. Currently battling Multiple Sclerosis, Rastok’s mom continues to help him grow on and off the pitch. “She pushes me to be a better person in so many facets of life from commitment to helping others,” said Rastok. Without the support of his mother off the field, Rastok said he would not have been able to get better on the field. “The struggles she overcomes grounds my own struggles and in turn that helps me get through mine.”

Although Rastok’s experience with the game of soccer mirrors the experiences of many lifelong players, to him it is more than just a game. “The people I’ve met from all over the world, the best experiences I have had and many of my best friends are people I’ve met directly because of soccer,” said Rastok.
Rastok has established himself as a team leader for NC Battalion and hopes to influence the younger squad members with his leadership and passion. He started the inaugural game on April 2 vs. SoCal SC and showcased his dedication to the game. He hopes to win the division, drive into the NPSL playoffs, and push towards the US Open Cup. As a current coach for Surf, he is able to apply the skills he learned as a player to his coaching method. He is actively pursuing coaching at the collegiate level and is studying to obtain his USSF A license. From there, it is onto the next challenge.Catch Berrick and the rest of the NC Battalion squad this Saturday, April 9 at Del Norte High School. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm vs. FC Hasental.

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