Lee High School soccer team overcomes odds to reach state

HOUSTON - On the outskirts of the Galleria, there's a school where sports take a backseat to the game of life.

"Most of the players, they work, they have a job so they need to support their families with money and food for the table," said Flavio Torres, Lee High School's center midfielder and captain.

Fidel Andrade is in his ninth year as head coach, but he sees something different in this team.

"For us, we have to become a family first, before we can become a team. They have to learn to love each other as brothers," Andrade said.

Representing  Ethiopa, Congo, Palestine, Vietnam, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Cuba, soccer has broken down every barrier standing in the Generals' way.

"We have different languages but that doesn't really affect us in the field, cause we don't really talk at all. We know each other, how we play," said Torres.

It's the brotherly bond that has brought teammates from 10 different countries to put Lee High School on a stage where no HISD school has been, becoming the first boy's soccer team from the school district to make a trip to the state tournament.

"It's an honor man. I was still crazy. I still can't believe it," said co-captain Ruboneka Bonheur.

"It's a lifelong lesson when you teach these kids that anything's possible, no matter what's going on in your life, you can still reach your dream," said Andrade.

Lee will play Pharr Valley View at 6 p.m. Friday at the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex for a berth in the 4A state championship game.

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