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Goalkeeper and Board member reunite on the soccer field

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TSC Board of Trustee Alejandra Aldrete was TSC Men’s Soccer Club goalie Andrew Flores’ (right), third grade teacher at El Jardin Elementary School. They both now represent TSC in different aspects, but their love for the TSC Scorpions runs deep. Courtesy Image
TSC Board of Trustee Alejandra Aldrete was TSC Men’s Soccer Club goalie Andrew Flores’ (right), third grade teacher at El Jardin Elementary School. They both now represent TSC in different aspects, but their love for the TSC Scorpions runs deep. Courtesy Image

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Little did Texas Southmost College Men’s Soccer Club goalkeeper Andrew Flores and TSC Board of Trustee Alejandra Aldrete know that they would meet up again after first meeting at El Jardin Elementary School in Brownsville 12 years ago.

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Aldrete was Flores’ third grade teacher and recognized the now 20-year-old as he blocked the other team from scoring during a home game against Baylor University, which ended in a 3-all draw.

“I thought I recognized his face. I certainly recognized his name. But kids grow up and change, so it was hard to tell,” said Aldrete. “That afternoon after the game I went home and dug up some old books I used to make for my classes, and there he was, Andrew Flores.” 

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Every year, for eight years, as a teacher at El Jardin Elementary School, it was a tradition for Aldrete to create a book out of a collection of her students’ essays. 

During Flores’ third grade year, Aldrete assigned him to write an essay of what he wanted to be when he grew up, which was a no brainer – a professional soccer player. 

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“It’s always special when I meet up with old students, but this one is extra special,” she said. “It makes me so happy to see that he is still playing soccer and loves it as much as he did when he was in third grade…and even better, he is a TSC Scorpion and representing us well.” 

In his third-grade essay Flores said, “When I grow up, I want to be a professional soccer player. I want to play for the Chivas.”

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He went on to say, “Soccer is my favorite sport, and I will be a great goalkeeper. I have been playing soccer since I was 5 years old, it’s my life. Nobody will stop me from playing and achieving my goals in life.”

Since third grade, Flores’ career goals have changed, but his love for the game remains the same. 

“Playing with the Scorpions has been a great opportunity for me. It’s what keeps me going,” said Flores. “I may not have become a goalkeeper with the Chivas, but being a goalkeeper for the Scorpions is even better. Knowing that Ms. Aldrete and I, even though in different capacities, represent TSC, is also an awesome discovery and I hope I make her proud.”

Flores said he remembers Aldrete being the kind of teacher he now aspires to be – motivating, encouraging, positive and inspirational. 

“She was a great teacher and really allowed us to dream and think that making those dreams come true was possible,” 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 expects to earn his associate degree in fall 2022, when he will then pursue a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and education. 

He hopes to one day become a soccer coach and high school history teacher. 

“My overall goal has always been to be a role model for younger generations, so whether that happens on the field or in a classroom, it’s going to happen anyway,” said Flores. “But first, I want to help my team on the field.” 

Aldrete said she is proud of the season TSC’s soccer team had and is proud of Flores and all he has accomplished on and off the field.

“This whole experience has certainly been surreal,” she said. “I’m so proud of the person he has become. My goal for all my students is success, and as an educator I’ve strived to let each one of my students know that nothing should stop them from pursuing their goals. They can be whatever they want to be and Go Scorpions!”

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