Growing up, I loved to play soccer. That was my sport. I could spend hours out there, practising and playing. For a few years there I thought about being the next Pelé, the soccer player from Brazil. In the end, it just wasn’t to be. Between my father’s unwillingness to support me, and the fact we didn’t have any teams I could play on, I put those dreams to rest and just kept on taking photos and writing.
Today, all these years later, I love to photograph sports of all kinds. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love shooting high school sports. The University level sports, I’m hit or miss. But high school, these kids are on the filed playing with heart. They are not aiming for a pro contract or a big paycheck. They are playing for the love of the game. Period.
Within the realm of high school sports, there are the family legacies: children following in the footsteps of their parents or older siblings; or, siblings playing at the same time. Out at San Elizario High School, this seems to be the norm.
Right now, we are nearing the end of basketball season, and I’ve noticed, for the Eagles, if you had maybe six families move away from the district, you would end a winning program. So many of the players are related to each other. This is the case with this, the first article in this series.
Jay and Audrey are brother and sister. Both play varsity basketball for San Elizario. Their parents, Audra and James also played at San Eli as well. Audra played three years of volleyball and then softball her freshmen, sophomore and senior year. James played four years of basketball and two years of football.
For James, having started playing basketball at the age of seven, he can still be found on a court today, or after school helping his kids get ready for the next big game.
Last week I spent some time talking with this amazing family. We spoke of sports and the future — hopes, dreams and college plans.
I invite you to watch the video of our conversation below.