TAMIU Dustdevil Soccer Athlete
Appears on Univisión’s Reality Show
Soamy Bautista, a sophomore accounting major at Texas A&M International University, may just become the next world-class soccer player.
That is, if Bautista, a Dustdevil student athlete, manages to persevere as a finalist in “El Juego Supremo,” (“The Supreme Game”) a competitive, soccer reality show now airing on the Univisión network Sundays from 3-4 p.m.
Bautista, 20, was chosen to participate on the show after he attended a casting call in Houston last winter and told producers his inspiring story of having immigrated to the United States from Honduras alone when he was nine years old.
This past summer, he traveled to Miami for the show’s filming and was chosen as one of its 15 regulars by some of the world’s most renowned soccer legends based on his soccer abilities.
“During the filming, I learned a lot of life lessons, many personal things about myself,” Bautista said, “I matured as a soccer player and learned how to apply myself to the game in a better way.”
Bautista said the show will reveal its finalists at the end of September. Finalists will have an opportunity to be invited by world soccer legends to join a professional team.
“My dream is to be invited to play professionally for Honduras some day,” said Bautista.
When he was nine, Bautista took a grueling, 21-day journey alone by land and sea to immigrate to the United States from Honduras and join his single mother in Houston. He said he traveled with a group of illegal immigrants who at one time considered leaving him behind because he was a child and was becoming a hindrance.
He said he traveled through forests, seas and rivers and finally swam across the river in Matamoros, México, in 1997 and reached the United States.
Even after reuniting with his mother in Houston, things did not become easier for Bautista as she worked long hours during the day to support him, he said.
To fight boredom, Bautista and his cousins, who also were without parents during the day, played soccer at a Houston soccer club, Houstonians Fútbol Club. Thus was born Bautista’s hope to become successful at the game of soccer.
Although becoming a professional soccer player is a long-held dream, Bautista said earning his degree is his top priority.
“I’ve promised my mother that I will get a University degree,” Bautista said, “As soon as I graduate, I would like her to leave one of the jobs that she has so that I can support her.”
Bautista said he was proud to serve as a TAMIU ambassador for the popular TV show.
“Some of the participants that I met were not in college yet. They had similar backgrounds as I did and I think that in our conversations, I inspired them to go to college,” he said.
Bautista said his mother is proud of his achievements and cries every time she watches an episode of “El Juego Supremo.”
“She cries every weekend. She tells me about all her friends calling her about the show,” he said, “Some of her friends have even cried because I’m doing this. She doesn’t miss any of the shows and even changed her schedule at work so that she can watch it.”
Claudio Arias, TAMIU men’s soccer coach, said he is glad Bautista has been part of “El Juego Supremo.”
“I think it’s tremendous for him. If you watch the show, you see that they had tons of kids to select from. It’s great for him to be selected and it’s good for our university and soccer program,” Arias said, “It just shows that we are recruiting the right kind of athletes to our programs.”
Arias said Bautista has become a leader among Dustdevils soccer players this fall season.
“It’s part of his growing and maturing process as a person and as an athlete. The show has been a good experience for him,” Arias said.
The Dustdevil Men’s Soccer team will play Friday, Sept. 19 against St. Edwards University. Games are also scheduled Saturday, Sept. 21 against University of the Incarnate Word and Friday, Sept. 26 against Northeastern State University. All three games will take place at 7 p.m. at the TAMIU Dustdevil Field.
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