Having open heart surgery as a youngster usually doesn't bode well for an athlete, especially one involved in a cardio-intensive sport like soccer. But that didn't deter Mauricio Trujillo, of the Monett Cubs, as he came all the way back his senior year to earn second team All-State honors in Class 2A.
Trujillo, son of Eduardo and Oralia Trujillo, learned he was named to the All-State team this week.
"I was very happy to hear that," he said, "especially after being honorable mention in the state my junior year."
The senior Cubs' striker scored 16 goals as a freshman before encounering his heart problem.
"When I had the surgery, I thought I would not be able to play the rest of my life," said Trujillo. "The first thing I asked the doctor after the surgery was whether or not I would be able to play soccer again. When he said I would be able to, I was so happy and made up my mind to be the best I could be."
His next two years of soccer at Monett were phenomenal. The striker scored 69 goals and had 35 assists during that span. The 39 goals he scored his junior year are a Monett High School record.
"He is a very talented kid," said MHS Coach Jeremy Wilson. "He can score with either foot, which is a huge advantage.
"He is very fast," Wilson added. "If he was even with someone else, the other kid was already beat."
Wilson said Crowder College at Neosho has expressed interest in Trujillo playing there after graduating, but Trujillo has other ideas.
"I am hoping to go back to Mexico," he said. "I want to try out for a pro soccer club. The Pachuca Hidalgo club is one of the best ones in Mexico, and I would like to play for that team. Mexico City also has some good teams."
"We are all very proud of him, including his younger sister, Maria, who keep statistics for our team this year," said Coach Wilson.