Texas border affairs
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Andrew Flores, goaltender for Texas Southmost College Men’s Football Club, and TSC Board of Trustees Alejandra Aldrete, had no idea they would reunite after their first meeting at El Jardin Elementary School in Brownsville he 12 years ago.
Aldrete was Flores’ third-year teacher and recognized the 20-year-old as he blocked the other team from scoring in a home game against Baylor University, which ended in one game zero to three.
“I thought I recognized his face. I certainly recognized his name. But kids grow up and change, so it was hard to tell, ”Aldrete said. “This afternoon after the game I came home and found some old books that I was making for my lessons, and there he was, Andrew Flores.”
Every year, for eight years, as a teacher at El Jardin Primary School, it was a tradition for Aldrete to create a book from a collection of essays from her students.
During Flores’ third year year, Aldrete commissioned him to write an essay about what he wanted to be when he grew up, which was a no-brainer – a professional football player.
“It’s always special when I meet alumni, but this one is very special,” she said. “It makes me so happy to see that he still plays football and enjoys it as much as he loved it when he was in his third year… and even better, he’s a TSC Scorpio and represents us well.”
In her third year essay, Flores said, “When I grow up I want to be a professional football player. I want to play for the Chivas.
He added: “Football is my favorite sport and I will be a great goalkeeper. I’ve been playing football since I was 5, it’s my life. No one will stop me from playing and achieving my goals in life.
Since the third year, Flores’ career goals have changed, but her love for the game remains the same.
“Playing for the Scorpions was a great opportunity for me. This is what keeps me going, ”said Flores. “I might not have become a goalie with the Chivas, but being a goalie for the Scorpions is even better. Knowing that Ms. Aldrete and I, although in different capacities represent TSC, is also a great discovery and I hope to make her proud.
Flores said he remembers Aldrete being the kind of teacher he now aspires to be – motivating, encouraging, positive and inspiring.
“She was a great teacher and really made us dream and think that it was possible to make those dreams come true,” he said. “She always made us feel like we could be and do anything. She gave us hope.
Flores is a general studies student at TSC and hopes to complete his associate degree in the fall of 2022, at which time he will then pursue a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and education.
He hopes to one day become a football coach and high school history teacher.
“My overall goal has always been to be a role model for the younger generations, so whether it happens on the pitch or in a classroom, it will happen anyway,” said Flores. “But first, I want to help my team on the pitch.”
Aldrete said she was proud of the TSC soccer team season and proud of Flores and all he has accomplished on and off the pitch.
“This whole experience has certainly been surreal,” she said. “I’m so proud of the person he has become. My goal for all of my students is success, and as an educator I have tried to let each of my students know that nothing should stop them from pursuing their goals. They can be whatever they want and Go Scorpions!