Lauro Rodriguez Morales, a tenth grade student at the high school, recently moved with his family to the United States from Guatemala and plays on the JV boys soccer team.
Morales speaks fluent Spanish and very little English. Teammate Ben Chalmers assists Morales in the translating process. While Morales loves the friendly and welcoming environment, the language barrier creates a unique experience for him and his teammates.
“I have more friends now that I have joined the soccer team,” Morales said.
Morales mentioned that his high school did not have a team and the program he played for was less organized than the American structure.
“The coaches have really good training,” Morales said, “It’s good to be out here everyday.”
On top of enjoying the sport itself, Morales has a strong support system to help him out during practices and games.
“He is someone everyone is hype about,” senior Ben Chalmers said, “They just want the best for him.”
As opportunities to excel on and off the field present themselves, Morales continues to thrive. JV soccer coach Chuck Heaps credits Morales for his hard work and dedication to the game. Heap mentions his easy-going attitude and ability to execute exceptional plays.
“We’re on the same page as far as what I want from him, where he’s supposed to go, and what he’s supposed to do,” Heaps said.
Morales has a strong understanding of the game which helps him during drills at practice. Any worries about him facing difficulties are minimal, as Morales is well-adapted to the team.
“He understands a lot with just knowing the basic knowledge of soccer. But if there’s anything he doesn’t understand, I got a couple of guys who step in to interpret,” Heaps said.
As Morales progresses through his season, he looks forward to making many more memories with his friends. The boys will finish their season with the final game at home, against Spring-Ford rivals on October 12th at 12 p.m.