On Nov. 18, the East High School Varsity Boys Soccer team showed off impressive skill, determination and unity through the 3-A State Champion Class to a 2-0 victory over Ladue Horton Watkins High School at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. This win not only crafted a victorious moment for the team but also highlighted the diversity that defines East High.
East High takes pride in its vibrant cultural makeup, with more than 40 languages and countries represented within its student body. This diversity is reflected in the composition of the soccer team, many refugees from Africa and Hati, all united by their passion for the sport.
“All that matters to the players is that they play the sport they love and they play with passion,” head coach Gerzo Guerrero said.
Esube Byoke, a player who has stood out throughout the season and one of the team’s captains, has received national recognition by being selected as one of only 40 students across the country to participate in the prestigious 2023 High School All-American Game.
The team, under the guidance of Guerrero, faced difficult competition and overcame the previous year’s lost championship. This season, with a remarkable record of 18 wins and 3 losses, the East High team demonstrated resilience, determination and unwavering commitment to the game and made a comeback.
East High School’s victory is made more remarkable in that they are the only public school in the championship. The team’s journey to victory was not an easy one, but it filled them with pride to represent their school and community on such a significant platform.
“It means a lot that we are the only public school that made the championship this year,” Guerrero said.
For the players, the State Championship win is not just a chance to hang a medal on the wall; it allows them a chance to prove a testament to their dedication, and a potential key to unlocking educational opportunities.
East High School’s commitment to fostering not only the team’s soccer skills but also their academic experience supports the idea that sports can serve as a powerful avenue for educational advancement.
“We are the first door for many of our soccer players,” Guerrero said.
The players, driven by not only their passion for soccer but also their passion for their education, displayed dedication that led to a victory on the field, crowning them as Class 3 State Champions and a beacon of success for East High School.