Friday, June 18, 2010
He went from a hopeful tennis player to a soccer star for one of the city’s elite powers, the first member of his family to go to college. And he isn’t headed to any ordinary school; he’s going to Cornell University on financial aid since the Ivy League doesn’t offer athletic scholarships.
“I can’t tell you how it happened,” the speedy and skilled striker said, shrugging his shoulders and smiling.
Louis had zero organized soccer experience under his belt when he arrived for tryouts with a pair of tennis shoes. His only experience was a few pickup games growing up in Haiti. Beacon coach Alec Mahrer looked past his improper foot gear, and to the freshman’s clear ability, his speed and skill and friendly nature.
“You could tell he was special from the beginning,” Mahrer said of Louis, his first player to win the Wingate Award for boys soccer. “And freshman year I realized how smart he was – I had him in my science class.”
Louis quickly learned the game’s rules and blended well with his new teammates. One of them, Alex Brass, brought him to the Manhattan Kickers, a high-level club team. Louis scored 30 goals in his high-school career, including 13 as a senior and five during this past season, leading the Blue Demons to the PSAL Class A semifinals. He was on the 2009 club that lost to Martin Luther King Jr. in the finals.