La Feria News

La Feria High School Senior Makes History

Armando Gonzalez Signs with University Soccer Team

Present at signing ceremony: Standing:  (l-r) Jesus Echeverria,  LFHS Assistant Soccer Coach; Sergio Rodriguez, LFHS Head Soccer Coach; Albert Flores, Houston Dynamo STX Academy Coach; Oscar Salinas, LFHS Athletic Director; Seated: Cindy Gonzalez, Armando Gonzalez, Jr; Armando Gonzalez, Sr. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN.

Present at signing ceremony: Standing: (l-r) Jesus Echeverria, LFHS Assistant Soccer Coach; Sergio Rodriguez, LFHS Head Soccer Coach; Albert Flores, Houston Dynamo STX Academy Coach; Oscar Salinas, LFHS Athletic Director; Seated: Cindy Gonzalez, Armando Gonzalez, Jr; Armando Gonzalez, Sr. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN.

The congratulations and pride were very evident during the ceremony in the La Feria High School Gymnasium last week as star soccer player, Armando Gonzalez, signed papers to play with one of the country’s top-rated universities. After graduating with his class of 2013, Senior Armando Gonzalez will be packing up to begin practice with his new school located in Oklahoma City. It was his pick of schools and the realization of a life-long dream.

Armando Gonzalez signs with Southwestern Christian University. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN.

Armando Gonzalez signs with Southwestern Christian University. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN.

Southwestern Christian University had everything Gonzalez wanted. And he obviously had what they wanted on the soccer field. In so doing, he made history for the five-year-old soccer program at La Feria High School. He is the first soccer player to be accepted by a major university from La Feria.

The school’s ambitious venture into soccer was spearheaded by coach Sergio Rodriguez. Rodriguez is from Mercedes and has been an athletic coach at LFISD for 12 years. For the past five of those years, he has dedicated himself to building an award-winning soccer team. He took the initiative to introduce and develop a soccer program that could compete in the District 64-4A team competitions. The coach did this under the direction of Oscar Salinas, the LFHS Athletic Director. The entire athletic department and school congratulated Gonzalez for his achievement.

Coach Rodriguez said about Gonzalez that this kid really “loves the game.” “We started him as a defense player, then, moved him to forward one year,“ he said. “ He really got into his game as a mid-fielder player– that position is without doubt the backbone of the team.”

In addition to playing varsity soccer since his freshman year for La Feria, he also played two years with “Dynamo U-19.” The coach said this group played all over the United States, and that is where he caught the attention of scouts from various universities. They saw Gonzalez play and invited him to “try-out” for their university. “This year alone,” Rodriguez said, “he tried out for 5 different schools–he is good.”

His mother, Cindy Gonzalez, added that her son began playing competition soccer 12 years ago with the Celtic Soccer Team from Harlingen. “They won many championships during those years,” she said. Wait a minute–You are saying that he began playing soccer at 4-years-old? “That is right–he just loved the game. He loved to watch the players on television when he was just a kid,” she said.

Star soccer player Gonzalez with his parents, Cindy and Armando, Sr.

Star soccer player Gonzalez with his parents, Cindy and Armando, Sr.

Armando agreed by saying, “Soccer is a great sport. It is a sport that is played all over the world, and brings people together,” he said. “Soccer just came normally to me. The first time I played it, I was hooked. When I played as a four-year-old, I made 20 goals,” he added with a big smile.

The world will be seeing more of this La Feria star soccer player as his career progresses. You can be sure hometown folks will be rooting for him when they see him moving the ball on sports television networks.

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