‘She Made Us Happy’: The All-Star Dreams of Uvalde’s Biggest José Altuve Fan

In this hard but necessary read, Roberto José Andrade Franco writes about one Uvalde family’s loss, and a small-town Texas community on the edge of the Nueces Strip that has changed forever. Franco beautifully honors the life of 10-year-old Tess Mata, a softball player and student murdered in the Robb Elementary School shooting, and traces a history of Texas shaped by guns, violence, and segregation.

When they tell the story, it makes them laugh, even now. They’re trying hard to get used to all the things that are gone. Trying to get used to no longer hearing the sounds Tess made, the thump-thump-thump whenever she practiced her pitching.

“This is where our heart’s at,” Jerry says of Tess’ room, and their home, and their small South Texas town next to the now waterless Nueces River.

We didn’t have to grow up alongside the Nueces River, listening to songs and stories of the violence all around us. But we did.

Source: ESPN
Published: Jul 27, 2022
Length: 29 minutes (7,314 words)

The Unstoppable Dreams of Ricardo Pepi

A profile of a Mexican American soccer prodigy.

Source: ESPN
Published: Oct 6, 2021
Length: 19 minutes (4,800 words)

Texas’s Best Young Accordionists Carry on a Conjunto Legacy

“At the Big Squeeze, the state’s most talented teen accordion players are keeping a historic Texas tradition alive.”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 21, 2021
Length: 8 minutes (2,010 words)