It’s not that often a soccer team boasts a pair of 30-goal scorers during the same season.
The Porter Cowboys fielded such a duo in 2019.
They were senior Oscar Garcia and freshman Jose Mateos, both forwards. They scored 31 and 33 goals, respectively.
Actually, Mateos set a freshman scoring record at Porter with his 33 goals. He eclipsed the previous freshman record set in 2011 by Alan Cortinas of 28 goals.
Garcia is The Brownsville Herald’s All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year, and Mateos is the All-Metro Newcomer of the Year. Both players played a key role in helping the Cowboys (22-7-2) return to the Class 5A playoffs this season as the third-place team from District 32-5A.
Cowboys coach Jose Espitia said each of the two players has made an impact on the varsity squad.
“We noticed Oscar’s potential as a freshman and moved him up to the varsity,” Espitia said. “He played only a few minutes as a freshman in 2016, but practiced and traveled with our varsity team, which was a good experience for him. He started as a fullback as a sophomore, and he became our utility player his junior year. This season he was our scoring threat (at forward).
“Oscar is very quiet, but he has leadership on the field,” the Porter coach added. “He will be greatly missed because players like him only come around every five years or so. I am glad and proud of him for getting his recognition. I want to see him playing at the next level (possibly at University of Houston-Victoria).”
Regarding Mateos, the Porter coach said, “Jose is one of a kind. He never missed a day of practice, and he’s an ‘A’ Honor Roll student who is very coachable, plus he knows how to read the game. He reminds me a lot of Alan Cortinas.
“I am excited to have Jose back for the next three years,” Espitia added. “I really hope we can develop his personality into a more outspoken/leader-type personality for the team. We need him to take a leading role.”
Both players have a lot of pride wearing the Cowboys’ jersey.
“Porter is an amazing school,” Garcia said. “The colors are proud colors to play for. It’s just a great school.”
Added Mateos, “I feel very proud to be on this team. It’s really hard to make it on the varsity (as a freshman) at Porter, and I’m grateful to the coaches for letting me play on the varsity. It was challenging to face the other Brownsville teams, and I felt a big responsibility to do well for my team.”
Also, the two players each said they appreciated the awards they’re received this season. For all-district, Garcia was the overall 32-5A MVP and Mateos was the 32-5A newcomer of the year.
“It means a lot to me to win these awards (for All-Metro and all-district),” Garcia said. “I gave it my all this season because it was my last year. I would like to thank our coaches for letting me be on the varsity team for four years, They’re great coaches.”
Added Mateos, “I’m very proud because my hard work was showing on the field (in getting these awards). Receiving them is motivating because I have another chance, actually three more seasons, to be at Porter. We’ll have a lot of seniors next year, and it will be another chance for us to do well.
“It was a great (2019) season, even though it didn’t finish like we wanted it to (as we lost in bi-district),” Mateos added. “I want to thank our coaches for the job they did this year.”