Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

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Giving Some Well-Deserved Flores:

A Goodbye Letter to UIS Soccer Star, Luis Flores
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Contributors: Nick Marquez

Anthony Rizzo leaving the Cubs, Patrick Kane leaving the Blackhawks…Luis Flores leaving the Prairie Stars. To a sports fan, there’s nothing that hurts more than watching the player that made you a fan leave your team. As an avid sports fan of teams across many different sports, I’ve lived this reality many times but none of them compared to Luis transferring out of UIS.

I came to UIS in 2020 suspicious of my ability to love a DII team the same way I love a professional sports team. Following my freshman year, my suspicions remained. Then I learned through my brother-from-another-mother, Flaco, that a homegrown talent from our area was on his way to Springfield to suit up for the Stars. I didn’t know Luis personally then, but I knew where he came from, and I live with the philosophy that any friend of Flaco’s is a friend of mine. Oh, how true would that sentence prove itself in less than a season.

With offers from multiple schools, Luis was a major part of an exceptional recruiting class in 2021 constructed by former head coach, Adam Hall. A class that had other transfer and freshman Stars joined a team that went to the GLVC tournament championship the last two out of three years. After finally meeting the product of Zion Benton High School – a school that is a short, 15-minute drive from my house in Waukegan – I was happy to say I had a friend on the pitch every game. Luis’ welcoming personality coupled with an unmistakable smile made him a friend of many and a stranger to none. The on-field product was just as noteworthy. The relief I felt watching Luis hawk down an opposing team’s attacker is what made me a fan of UIS soccer. Watching him send passes with pinpoint accuracy was so beautiful, it should be hung up next to the Mona Lisa. Watching an attacker approach with the ball at their feet thinking they had what it takes to make it past the Great Wall of The Prairie always made me smirk knowing that they were about to run into an impenetrable force.

After 54 games played, 35 starts, and over 1,700 minutes played, I still feel like I haven’t seen enough of the defensive guru, and now I won’t be able to experience that as much in person anymore. With new beginnings on the horizon at UW Parkside, I can’t help but express my gratitude to Luis for making me a diehard Prairie Star fan.

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Thank you Luisito. Sigue echándole con ganas, Pa.

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