Striker Ricardo Osuna, 17, who just graduated from Galax High and whose father is Mexican, says the Galax community is open and welcoming. But the opposing teams? Not so much.
“When we played, there was a bunch of racism,” he says. “Like, ‘Oh, wetbacks, get outta here!’ Once I got a yellow card, and they were like, ‘Hey ref, give him a green one, he probably needs it!’ Everybody was really mad about it.”
The Latino soccer players have powered the Galax team to four state championships in the last five years. The champion team is celebrated with a triumphant victory parade through town, escorted by fire trucks and police cars.