Prep soccer

Ruano twins have Covenant Christian playing in Spanglish

2013-08-31T17:09:00Z 2013-09-01T23:59:05Z Ruano twins have Covenant Christian playing in SpanglishDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 31, 2013 5:09 pm  • 

Dennis and Rosanna Ruano, missionary students from Guatemala, showed up at just the right time for Covenant Christian soccer.

"I only had 11 players and I knew I could use another; I was out recruiting and (Rosanna) just showed up," Covenant Christian girls coach Aaron de Jager said. "She said 'Hola, Coach. I'm gonna play soccer.'

"The fact that she's awesome makes it even better."

Bob and Wendy Smith and their son Preston are hosting the Ruanos. The families met when the Smiths were on a mission trip to Guatemala. Bob suggested the twins spend the first semester of their junior years with them and at Covenant Christian. The siblings arrived Aug. 4.

"They're great kids," Bob said. "They're outgoing and active, very sweet. They've been no problem at all."

It didn't take long for them to ask for a soccer ball.

The twins played indoor soccer back home, in a less-organized atmosphere. There has been some adjustment to the outdoor, team game. Both have made their contributions to the Knights, though.

The 5-2 Rosanna is a "little pipsqueak" on defense, de Jager said.

"She's a spark plug," he said. "She's got wonderful touch, good footwork and she's really fast."

Rosanna often spouts off Spanish rants just to mess with de Jager, a Canadian who speaks French and Dutch but not Spanish.

Boys coach Andrew Dunham said Dennis has been fairly successful as a forward.

"He knows how to turn it on when he needs to," Dunham said. "He's a fun-loving kid who loves soccer and is willing to learn."

Dunham had some of his seniors introduce Dennis to the team and make him feel welcome. Dennis doesn't have the English skills his sister does, but that doesn't really matter on the pitch.

"So much of soccer is just watching what is done," Dunham said. "That's the beauty of soccer. It crosses the language barrier."

The Smiths have taken Dennis and Rosanna around the country, trying to show them the U.S. before they head home in December. They've been golfing, taken trips to Chicago and have trips planned to Colorado, Myrtle Beach and an Ohio State football game.

One memory sticks out to Rosanna, though.

"I like the (American) people. I like the culture. I like everything," Rosanna said. "I like the golf cart. It was fun to drive."

The twins have made a lot of friends at school even outside of soccer. The Smiths have had other kids over to hang out with the Ruanos more than once.

"This has all been really easy because of how good these kids are," Bob said. "I think it's been a real positive thing for everyone involved."

Rosanna and Dennis talk to their family back in Central America several times a week and each misses home. But Rosanna said leaving Covenant Christian and America will be bittersweet.

"(The Smiths) make me feel like home," Rosanna said. "I feel like I have a real family here."

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