Del Rio’s leadership and high school soccer coaches got a glimpse of the future recently as they were honored by the San Felipe Del Rio Soccer Club.
City of Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, Rams head soccer coach Tani Canchola, Queens head soccer coach Wilber Rivas and Rams assistant coach Leo Ramos were recognized by the teams and coaches of the club during a small ceremony in May at the lower Rams soccer field.
Though the title denotes just one team, there are actually seven teams that are a part of the San Felipe Del Rio Soccer Club. According to a release from the club, the teams play in the South Texas Youth Soccer Association’s leagues and tournaments.
A staple of Del Rio’s soccer community, the club, which was created and managed by Javier Ovalle, has been in existence for 12 years, serving a variety of youth at differing ages. The club’s teams play year round and have racked up a bevy of awards including South Texas State championships, district championships, and appearances and championships in several major tournaments.
The teams presented the mayor and the coaches with a variety of tokens of appreciation from jerseys to T-shirts to hats to medals from tournaments the teams participated in.
Both head coaches and Lozano had the opportunity to address the collected group of players and coaches.
“You guys are the future. We were talking, as coaches, and looking at them and we can see already you guys coming up to our level and playing for the Rams. We’ve had some of you come over and play with us and then move onto the next level. A couple of have gone on to play at a higher level at college. That for us is the most rewarding thing. To see you guys come out here, and play, supported, that’s why we do it,” Canchola said. “You guys are lucky because people are about you. I think we’re on the right path for soccer for great things to come. Obviously, look at the results already. You guys are doing fantastic and that’s what we need. And thank you all very much from the bottom of my heart and can’t wait to see you guys come up. We’ve already worked with some of you all at the high school and we love it and enjoy it. We see them every day and it’s such a joy. We appreciate everything you do and if there’s anything we can do let us know.”
Lozano reminded the players that they are the future and that they should continue to work hard to be the best people they can be and be the best representatives of Del Rio.
“You are our future leaders, never forget that, and what you’re learning right now in soccer you can help take that to become future leaders. You’re learning about community; you’re learning how to play together. Even when you may not like somebody’s play, you learn how to make that goal, learn how to make those sacrifices to get all of this. And this is something you’re going to take forever with you,” Lozano said, holding one of the medals the club earned at a recent tournament. “I’m very proud to say that you guys are a reflection of this community. What I’ve been telling students your age and the classes that I’ve visited throughout the year, you represent Del Rio whether you want to or not because you live in our community and never forget that. When you go out there and shine out there, in you you reflected Del Rio, Texas. Don’t ever lose that. When you’re walking in the parks, when you’re out there at the mall or something, and you see something you don’t like, stand up for what you believe in and be proud of your community. Be proud of what you accomplished over the last year and what you’re going to accomplish on the scholastic side of high school life and for the rest of your careers and future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”