Senior Solomon Saboia takes a kick to pass it to a teammate. Sophomore Emma Bosworth dribbles the ball as she heads up the field.
Senior Solomon Saboia takes a kick to pass it to a teammate. Sophomore Emma Bosworth dribbles the ball as she heads up the field.
Scott Starkey

Soccer Athlete Spotlight: Senior Solomon Saboia and Sophomore Emma Bosworth

The stadium lights beat down on the field as the players pass the ball around. One player races forward faster than everyone else, stealing the ball and continuing his run to the goal, then he kicks it and it sails into the open net. Meanwhile, on another field, a different player kicks the ball away from the goal in defense. A teammate takes control of it and passes it back in a move known as a “give-and-go.” This play will also lead to a goal. Senior Solomon Saboia leads the varsity boys’ soccer team to victory in their games, as does sophomore Emma Bosworth for the girls’ team.

Saboia is a team captain and midfielder for the varsity boys’ team and has played on varsity for several years. Bosworth is a midfielder who has only played on varsity for one year, but she has already begun to make an impact.

“Solomon Saboia has such great character on and off the field,” athletic director Mike Maddox said. “Teachers and coaches love him as he always has a smile off the field but [is an] ‘eye of the tiger’ on the field. Emma Bosworth is a great teammate because she is selfless when it comes to practice and games. She has that extra drive and work ethic.”

Saboia moved here with his family when he was 7-years-old. Before coming here, he played soccer in Brazil, where he is from.

“He is the hardest working kid I have,” head boys’ coach Jason Lawless said. “He is the most talented kid I have. He is a great kid.”

Saboia lives at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) with his family because they are missionaries. He is also one of the team captains for the varsity team.

“Solomon helps the team by controlling the midfield,” Lawless said. “He also helps the team with his defensive style of play. Solomon is a great team leader and captain.”

Along with English, Saboia speaks Portuguese, the official language of Brazil. Brazil is known for soccer, and  Saboia wants to play college soccer if at all possible.

“He wants to play college soccer really bad,” Lawless said. “Solomon plays very fast and physically. He is unselfish and passes balls to other players more than he should. He is unstoppable one-on-one. He is the most talented player in East Texas I think.”

Bosworth began playing soccer at age 4, though she has only played competitively for three years. Although soccer is her main sport, she also runs cross country and track.

I chose Emma because she represents what I want all my soccer players to be like,” head girls’ coach Cody Bray said. “She’s a top level player with a top level work ethic.”

In general, very few sophomores play varsity sports, but Bosworth is one of those few. She is one of five sophomores on the 19-player roster.

I feel proud to be a sophomore on varsity,” Bosworth said. “It takes a lot of effort and work to get here and I definitely feel like I have earned it.”

Bosworth is still unsure of what she is interested in doing after high school and has not yet looked deeply into any particular college. As for now, she will certainly keep playing soccer next season.

Not only is she very talented, but she puts in the extra work to be the best player she can be,” Bray said. “I never have to doubt her commitment to being an all-in player. She always gives her best. I have told her on a regular basis that if I could I’d have a team full of Emmas. I hold her in very high regard and am super lucky to have her in our program.”

Before school shut down due to COVID-19, the boys’ team had a 6-3 district record and were sitting in third place, which would put them into a playoff spot. The girls’ team is sitting in fifth place with a district record of 3-6.

“Solomon is a role model and plays through pain and injury,” Maddox said. “He was voted captain because of his hard work. Emma is always cheerful and positive which makes her loved by her teammates. Soccer is her passion and this leads to her hard work and talent as a player.”

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