I have played soccer since I was three years old and it has always been a major part of my life. It is in my blood. This sport is the reason that I am grateful for this man -Rui Farias. He was my soccer coach in high school. I attended St. Petersburg High and since my freshman year I have played on the varsity soccer team coached by him.
Coach Farias was a short, black-haired, Portuguese man with an awesome personality and an unwavering devotion to the real game of football. Back in the day, he used to play soccer for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Besides being a great coach who immensely helped me develop and improve my skill in the game, he was a history teacher. He was only the best history teacher ever according to everyone at my school. His laid back, chill, and humorous personality made him one of my favorite teachers in high school. However to me he was more than a teacher or a coach, he was a friend. I could always go to him for help or advice about anything and he would be there for me. In high school, Mr. Farias was my role model, someone who I could always look up too. He made my high school experience unforgettable and I am truly grateful to him this Thanksgiving.
What I am most grateful for from Coach Farias is the hard work he put in helping me achieve what I could only dream of -playing college soccer. Thanks to him, I was granted a spot on the soccer team at the University of South Florida. He would call and speak to college coaches from all around Florida who would recruit students for their teams. One day he convinced one of the coaches at USF to come watch me play at one of our home games. The next day at school Coach Farias told me the good news. He said that the USF coach was interested in me playing striker for their team. I will never forget that day. I heart filled with indescribable happiness. I am so thankful to Coach Farias for believing in me. If he did not believe that I had what it takes to play at a college level then I would probably not have ever played college soccer.