The Port Neches-Groves women’s soccer team was treated to a tour of the University of Texas by one of the high school’s most recognizable alumni.
Former PNG quarterback and current Longhorn running back Roschon Johnson hosted the Indians, who were in the area for a tournament this week.
PNG football head coach Aimee Bates said Johnson was originally supposed to speak to the team during the winter break.
“We usually have a speaker series throughout the season,” she said. “During the Christmas holidays, we were going to meet him, but the times ended up not matching. I contacted him and told him we would be in Georgetown for the Governor’s Cup and maybe we could meet that way.
Johnson contacted Bates before they left for their trip and told him he had something special planned for the team.
“We caught up with him (Thursday afternoon) after he finished training,” Bates said. “One of the football seniors brought us to the football locker room (at the University of Texas). He took us to the football facilities and told us about his experience and his winning mindset.
Bates said she always plans activities for her team throughout the year, but admitted players tell her the tour is the best.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we may never get to experience again,” said PNG’s Rylee Miller. “We were very grateful that he took the time to come and show us around. It’s something I will never forget. »
Hannah LeBlanc said there was one show the team particularly enjoyed.
“Football guys have an arcade in their locker room,” LeBlanc said. “I think it was everyone’s favorite. We played hockey and basketball. They also had a motorcycle game which we really enjoyed. It was great fun there.
For Bates, she said her highlight was stepping onto the football field at Darrell K. Royal Stadium.
“You just feel like a rock star,” she said. “It was amazing.”
Bates is a big Johnson fan and is grateful for all he does for his old school.
“He’s just an amazing human being,” she said. “Besides his athletic and gifted talent, his hard work inspires children for generations to come. I saw him for four years in high school and three in college, he is the hardest working athlete I have ever had. I’ve never met. He’s humble. He’s a God-fearing young man and I’m so proud of him. When he talks to the team, he speaks from the heart. He’s genuine. I can’t say enough good things about him. things about him. I’m blown away every time I’m with him.
As for the tournament, Bates said his team learned valuable lessons from playing schools across the state.
“We lost the first game and tied the second,” Bates said. “Every time we step onto the pitch things get better and better. I’m very happy with our fight. Today was a physical match. My kids didn’t back down. beaten and played a good match.
The games are played on the same field as the state playoffs will take place in a few months.
“We’ve been up against some really tough teams,” Miller said. “I think we are growing with every game. We’re just taking this time to work out a few flaws in our game. We’re just getting closer to each other. »