BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Brownsville Porter’s Jorge Deza Nuñez has had the best two years of his life.
“Everything fell into place,” Deza Nuñez said. “School was perfect, I was having high grades, I didn’t have difficulty in my classes. I was playing really well in soccer. I was going back and forth to school from Mexico where my family was. Everything was just perfect, I could not change that year for anything else.”
Jorge was grateful, he was beginning to see his hard work pay off. He played backup goalkeeper for the Cowboys for the last two seasons and shared in their success.
It was a long time in the making and didn’t all just fall into Jorge’s lap.
“Like I’ve been through a lot, and even though I’ve been through a lot, I’m still here I’m still fighting.”
Jorge was born in Brownsville and lived there until his parents were deported when he was 8 years old. He went to Mississippi to live with extended family members, but it wasn’t the same. He missed his family and dealt with racism from other students.
“We were instilled from a young age, if you don’t have much just be happy with what you have,” said Jorge. “Maybe we don’t have much but we have the things that we most care about, it’s our family, our health.
Living in Matamoros with his mother meant a two-hour commute each way to attend school and soccer practice at Porter.
“I would take a taxi to the bridge. Once I crossed the bridge, I’d take a bus to school. Once school ended, I would take around three buses home then walk an hour.
Jorge began working and saving money for a bike, which relieved some of the time it took to travel back and forth. Still, when it would rain or the wind picked up, the travel days were long. He crossed the Brownsville-Matamoros bridge every day, a bridge of opportunity for him.
“With my teachers that have been helping me and everything, slowly but surely I’ve gotten safer to school so I would not change it. And also with the bike, I’ve gotten in better condition with soccer it helped me a lot.”
It was just another soccer camp in May when the University of Houston-Victoria soccer coaches were watching from the sidelines.
Jorge, standing at just about 5’3″, thought that the four other goalkeepers on the Cowboys team would stand a better chance at the scholarship than he would.
“I didn’t think I was gonna get a scholarship because of my height. I was hoping for it but honestly, I was really doubtful in moments because I would see other goalkeepers they’re way taller than me. I’m 5’3, the other goalkeeper from the school is 6’3″ that’s a huge difference.”
What Jorge didn’t know, is that his will to help his team in any way would far outshine any skills in the net.
“I decided to be useful while I was not being inside the goal so I’d grab the soccer balls to help out as a ball boy, or anything else I was just trying my best to help out.”
His heart of gold and work ethic earned him a scholarship as a team manager for the Jaguars.
“I broke down in tears. I called my mother over and we just kind of celebrated for a moment, saying you see, all the times you were suffering from anxiety, depression, insecurities, or racism from other students it’s all been worth it because now you have a scholarship under your belt.”
Jorge moved to Victoria to live in the dorms amongst his freshman peers. He serves as a player-manager for the men’s soccer team.
Jorge thought he had it all before, but now he has a scholarship to a University with an opportunity to stay close to the sport he loves and pursue a college education.
“I would not change my life either, the only thing I would change is to bring them [family] back here but that’s a goal that I still have to accomplish.”
He does not know yet what major he will declare, but he dreams of one day bringing his mom and brother over to the United States.