Updated: Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012, 6:54 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012, 4:22 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Covenant Christian recently lost out on bringing home the school's very first state soccer title, but even that couldn't keep the smile off senior Mauro Ercole's face.
His coach Michael Johnson knows what his star player has dealt with. "He just feels very blessed. And the rest of us, they do know what he's been through and we can't complain about a thing. We all forget how good we have it."
Life was not always this easy for Mauro and his family. They immigrated to the United States when he was 5 from Mendoza, Argentina.
"Life was pretty hard in Argentina. It was really a struggle to meet everyday needs,"said Mauro "I remember this one night: it was me and my parents and my sisters at the dinner table and we were eating a real dinner and my parents were just drinking tea because they couldn't afford to buy food for themselves."
The early days in America were just as tough. "I spoke no English whatsoever. It was pretty scary. The first day of first grade was a struggle."
12 years in, and he couldn't ever imagine living back in Argentina, but he never forgets what it took to get here.
"I think all the struggles that I've been through have helped me like how good I have it now, and that always keeps me happy."
Mauro now sets his sights on becoming the first person in his family to go to college.
"I want to go to business at Ball State University. My parents have always taught me to strive for the best. I'd be the first one to take that and do something with it."