Southwest Dubois County School Corporation has the largest Latino population in the Dubois County, Indiana. After years of resistance from the school board, Southridge High School fielded it's first school-sponsored varsity soccer team in 2016. The co-ed team was predominately made up of Latino students.
Southridge High School sophomore Kevin Herrera, right, practiced soccer with his 11-year-old brother Kenneth, a sixth-grader on the Southridge Middle School soccer team, in the backyard of their home in Huntingburg, Indiana. Like many of his sophomore varsity teammates, Kevin started playing on the middle school team with coach Ryan Wallace in fifth grade. Wallace continued coaching Kevin and his teammates as they progressed to high school, while working to gain approval from the school board for the varsity team.
Coach Ryan Wallace, foreground, led a discussion about the Southridge soccer team's "supremacies and deficiencies" after watching the video of the team's first game of the season during a film study. As part of coach Wallace's efforts to instill a varsity culture in the team, players learned about game strategy, interpreting statistics and studying their opponents.
Southridge soccer team captain Jonnel Miranda, right, led jumping jacks as the team warmed up during their first official practice at the school in Huntingburg.
Roberto Lopez of Huntingburg watched as the Southridge soccer team played a game. Lopez brought the patio umbrella to shield himself from the sun along the sidelines. He did not know anyone on the team but said he came to watch simply because he was a fan of the sport.
Cousins Jeovanny Dubon, a Southridge sophomore, and Jonatan Navarro, a freshman, picked blueberries to earn money to pay for soccer equipment and fees. The cousins rode their bikes from Huntingburg to Duff at sunrise to work and were unable to attend voluntary summer practices with their teammates.
Southridge sophomore Alex Posada, left, senior Javier Sandoval and coach Ryan Wallace painted lines on the field and set out the corner flags during Wallace's planning period. The field was previously used as overflow parking for the football stadium.
Coach Ryan Wallace pointed as he talked with Southridge sophomore Gina Flores, left, junior Blanca Villalobos, junior Brisa Villalobos, freshman Fiona Vonderheide and freshman Sasia Walz during a scrimmage.
Southridge senior Javier Sandoval, back left, and junior Josue Ramirez kicked a soccer ball back and forth as junior Vanessa Rivas, bottom left, sophomore Ivan Flores, junior Brisa Villalobos and junior Blanca Villalobos finished homework and talked after school before a soccer game.
Southridge junior Jonnel Miranda, left, and sophomore Melvin Orellana looked out the window as their bus arrived to a game in Evansville. Before they had varsity status, the school's club team had to car pool to away games.
The Southridge soccer team walked across the field to their bench before an away game against Northeast Dubois High School, a county rival.
Southridge sophomore Jeovanny Dubon held a necklace with the Lord's Prayer in Spanish on it as he watched a scrimmage from the bench. Dubon, who is Catholic, said holding the necklace is part of a personal ritual that also includes a silent prayer, putting a blade of grass in his shin guard and making the sign of the cross before playing.
Northeast Dubois' Tristen Myers and Southridge's Jonathan Escobar fought for possession of the ball during a game in Dubois. Because the team is in its first year, coach Ryan Wallace said he scheduled any games he could get. The co-ed Southridge team played varsity, junior varsity, boys and girls teams.
Coach Ryan Wallace led the Southridge soccer team in a round of applause for freshman starter Alfredo Ferruzquia, who scored the first goal during the team's first game.