MOSES LAKE — Uriel Hermosillo and Josue Rodriguez had never played organized soccer prior to attending Moses Lake High School.
Both immigrants, Hermosillo came from Mexico and arrived in Moses Lake at the start of his freshman year. Rodriguez, from El Salvador, came the year after. Neither could speak much English, but both loved soccer.
Now, they share one more defining trait.
Hermosillo and Rodriguez both committed to play men’s soccer at Columbia Basin College in front of friends, family, coaches and administrators Tuesday inside the MLHS office.
“For the Latino community it means a lot,” Moses Lake head coach Richie Ramirez said. “Soccer’s a big thing in the culture and to have two boys to come as immigrants, want the American dream and not really look forward into the future for it means a lot because they never thought they had these doors and possibilities in their future.”
Hermosillo and Rodriguez, who both spoke through a translator, said they were planning on studying agriculture and are looking forward to exploring a larger city that isn’t too far away.
“I feel very lucky and fortunate in being selected to go play for CBC,” Hermosillo said. “Especially because it is close to my parents. I really don’t want to miss this connection with them yet. I want to stay close to home and my parents will come and see my when I play.”
Columbia Basin head men’s soccer coach Martin Ramirez shares a similar background with Hermosillo and Rodriguez, which eased the stress of recruitment. However, a college scholarship was a lofty goal when both midfielders arrived on Moses Lake’s campus.
“None of them knew a single word of English other than a basic, generic hi, bye,” Ramirez said. “To really get to understand what it was to be in a high school program like this, it really took them into a whole new perspective of what they could do. Academically, they worked a lot harder than most would.”
Columbia Basin finished third in the NWAC East this season and reached the quarterfinals of the NWAC Tournament. The Hawks had only five sophomores on its 2018 roster.
“I really like to play soccer and I’m willing to help and learn new challenges,” Rodriguez said.