H-Town United: An Unlikely Soccer Power Rises in Texas

It’s hard to call Elsik High School’s soccer team an underdog — the squad from Southwest Houston has become a national powerhouse — but it’s also hard to call them anything but. A long, engrossing portrait of a program marked by love, second chances, and a ceaselessly nurtured sense of newfound family.

About half of this year’s Elsik players were born outside the U.S. In addition to Honduras, they come from El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Vietnam, and Mexico. Many hadn’t played organized soccer before high school. Hector came up playing in the streets of La Ceiba, a port city of roughly 200,000 on the Gulf of Honduras. Senior defender Toliat Ajuwon grew up competing barefoot in Nigeria, braving “no-mercy” pickup games he said were more aggressive than anything he’d seen in the States. Junior midfielder Oumar Berete arrived last year from Senegal, where “nine out of ten kids want to be a soccer player” and where he played informal games on the beach but never had a proper coach.

Author: Tom Foster
Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Apr 6, 2022
Length: 35 minutes (8,905 words)

Over 400 Startups Are Trying to Become the Next Warby Parker. Inside the Wild Race to Overthrow Every Consumer Category

Venture capitalists are funding DTC, or direct to consumer, startups that apply the Warby Parker model to everything from tampons to potted plants. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has become an incubator. Tootbrush subscriptions sound cool, but can DTCs remake certain products that don’t need makeovers?

Author: Tom Foster
Source: Inc.
Published: Apr 19, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,281 words)

The Shelf Life of John Mackey

Whole Foods’ eccentric founder changed the way Americans consume food. Can he survive the Wall Street forces that now want to consume him?

Author: Tom Foster
Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Jun 15, 2017
Length: 33 minutes (8,335 words)